The Pathways Collaborative is a group of organizations committed to improving rates of college completion, transfer, and attainment of jobs with value in the labor market — and achieving equity in those outcomes.
These organizations collaborated on the development of the guided pathways model. Individually and collectively, these organizations now support guided pathways reform in hundreds of community colleges — and at the state level — across the country. To learn more about an organization, click on its logo.
The Pathways Collaborative thanks the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its partnership in this important work and for its generous funding of ongoing efforts, including this website.
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges. The association represents nearly 1,200 associate degree-granting institutions and more than 12 million students. AACC’s work on guided pathways stems directly from the 2012 report of the Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, Reclaiming the American Dream. Work has included: the three-year Pathways Project with 30 selected community colleges, seven national partner organizations, and funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; a second cadre of Pathways 2.0 colleges; replications of the Pathways Institute series in several states; uses of institute materials in many other states and colleges; development of the pathways coaching model and a Pathways Coaching Guide; and the online Pathways Resource Center.
Achieving the Dream (ATD) provides a framework for supporting, accelerating, and sustaining systemic change in community colleges. Since its founding in 2004, ATD has moved from small innovations scaled incrementally to developing a systemic framework for deep and sustained institutional reform. In 2016, ATD developed a new Capacity Framework that defines the components necessary for deep and sustained change. ATD’s Pathways Coaching helps colleges create curricular pathways to employment and further education, helps students choose and enter their pathway, helps students stay on their path, and ensures that learning is happening with intentional outcomes.
The Aspen College Excellence Program helps colleges improve student learning, completion, employment after college, and equitable outcomes for low-income and minority students. The Aspen Prize research and selection process demonstrates that community colleges achieving high and improving levels of student success often develop clear credential pathways and strong associated advising structures. Aspen supports guided pathways implementation through assessment tools, professional development programs, and open-access curriculum, particularly in the areas of internal and external change leadership for presidents and senior teams and highly effective transfer pathways between community colleges and universities.
The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) is the leading national association dedicated to advancing the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,400 member institutions — including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.
Carnegie Math Pathways is a community of educators and researchers that have fundamentally reimagined math teaching and learning to create course solutions and professional learning resources that ensure that every student — regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, zip code, or income — can access high-quality math learning opportunities and achieve success in introductory college math. The Pathways consists of quantitative and statistical reasoning course solutions, Quantway and Statway. These evidence-based alternative pathways actively engage students with relevant curricula and embedded social-emotional supports, preparing them with the skills and reasoning needed for a growing number of professions and everyday decision-making.
The Center for Community College Student Engagement is an umbrella organization for survey research (Community College Survey of Student Engagement, Community College Faculty Survey of Student Engagement, and Survey of Entering Student Engagement), focus group work, and related services for colleges interested in improving educational quality through strengthened student engagement and student success. The Center’s role in the pathways work includes coordinating the logistics for the Pathways Institutes (following the institute model that the Center developed) and developing Pathways Toolkits and Pathways Modules to collect data on students’ pathways-related experiences.
The Community College Research Center (CCRC) is conducting research on guided pathways in partnership with state agencies and student success centers in several states and with AACC and other national partners. CCRC’s research is aimed at addressing questions about what practices colleges are implementing as part of pathways reforms, how they are managing the change process involved, the impact of these reforms on student outcomes and college performance, the cost of these reforms, and their cost-effectiveness. Based on this research, CCRC is producing guidance materials and tools for practitioners.
Complete College America’s (CCA) Game Changer strategies are designed to restructure systems, improve student outcomes, and eliminate achievement gaps. Recognizing the synergy between these evidence-based interventions, CCA has integrated the Game Changers into Momentum Pathways, an optimal sequence for implementation that leads to greater student momentum and success through increased early credit accumulation, gateway course completion, and completion of credits in a program of study.
Mathematics pathways are structured to enable the following:
- Principle 1: All students, regardless of college readiness, enter directly into mathematics pathways aligned to their programs of study.
- Principle 2: Students complete their first college-level mathematics requirement in their first year of college.
Students engage in a high-quality learning experience in mathematics pathways that are designed so that:
- Principle 3: Strategies to support students as learners are integrated into courses and are aligned across the institution.
- Principle 4: Instruction incorporates evidence-based curriculum and pedagogy.
Dana Center Mathematics Pathways embraces work across higher education sectors to provide faculty, staff, administrators, and policy leaders the resources, tools, and services necessary to implement high-quality mathematics pathways.
JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems. For more than a decade, JFF has served as the state policy partner on several national college completion initiatives and has convened twice annually leaders from system offices and institutions from 17 states for peer learning and support. Through the Policy Leadership Trust for Student Success, JFF elevates the perspective of practitioners in state and federal policy discussions. JFF also manages the growing network of Student Success Centers — statewide organizations that help community colleges implement guided pathways. JFF provides guidance to Center staff, facilitates cross-Center learning, and offers a broad range of services and supports.
The National Center for Inquiry and Improvement (NCII) is a leader in helping colleges implement authentic large-scale change, focusing primarily on guided pathways and student financial stability reforms. NCII leverages its experience working with more than 350 colleges from the inception of the guided pathways movement to today, helping colleges rethink how their policies, programs, and services come together to create the optimal student experience. NCII serves colleges through national and state-level initiatives and through direct college support through its Agency, Attitude & Intensive Implementation (A2I2) cohort subscription model.
OCCRL’s mission is to use research and evaluation methods to improve policies, programs, and practices to enhance community college education and transition to college for diverse learners at the state, national, and international levels. OCCRL researchers study policies, programs, and practices designed to enhance outcomes for diverse youth and adults who seek to transition to and through college to employment. OCCRL’s research spans the P-20 education continuum, with an intense focus on how community colleges impact education and employment outcomes for diverse learners. Results of OCCRL’s studies of pathways and programs of study, extending from high school to community colleges and universities and to employment, are disseminated nationally and internationally. Reports and materials are derived from new knowledge captured and disseminated through OCCRL’s website, scholarly publications, and other vehicles. OCCRL accomplishes this goal through research and development (R&D) projects in three areas: Equity-Driven Change, Comprehensive P-20 Educational Pathways, and Transformative Leadership.
Sova is a mission-driven organization focused on improving the quality and accelerating the pace of complex problem solving in the areas of higher education and workforce development. Sova pursues its mission through distinctive approaches to change leadership. By applying cross-disciplinary insights and expertise in stakeholder analysis and engagement, community organizing, implementation science, process engineering, and deliberative democracy, Sova helps its partners take advantage of the untapped insights of the people they depend on to make real, lasting change. Sova helps those pursuing pathways move from strategy to action and from pilot to scaled intervention.
UNCF, the United Negro College Fund, is an American philanthropic organization that funds scholarships for black students and general scholarship funds for 37 private historically black colleges and universities. Through its Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI) and Institute for Capacity Building (ICB) it engages with its member institutions, state funded HBCUs, and higher education partners to study, innovate, and execute strategies to build institutional capacities and student success.
Pathways Implementation Support
- American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) support [PDF]
- Achieving the Dream (ATD) support [PDF]
- Carnegie Math Pathways support [PDF]
- Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) support [PDF]
- Charles A. Dana Center support [PDF]
- JFF support [PDF]
- National Center for Inquiry and Improvement (NCII) support [PDF]
- The ADA Center support [PDF]
- ASA support support [PDF]
- Next Chapter Communications support [PDF]
- Phase Two Advisory support [PDF]