Tri-C: A National Model for Establishing ‘Guided Pathways’
Report showcases programs established by the College to power student success
Widespread programs implemented by Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) offer a case study in how two-year institutions can create clearer pathways to graduation and employment for students.
A recent report by the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University highlighted the work done at Tri-C. The study examined gains made at eight community colleges across the nation that launched “guided pathways” initiatives.
Guided pathways refer to practices colleges can implement to transform how they help students enter and complete programs of study. The American Association of Community Colleges launched a pathways project in 2015 with 30 institutions — including Tri-C — in the first cohort.
The CCRC’s report focused on Tri-C given the “exceptional progress” the College made in redesigning academic programs, student services and related support systems using the pathways model.
“The College has established guided pathways practices at a scale that few colleges nationally have succeeded in implementing,” the report said.
The study highlighted multiple Tri-C initiatives that changed the college experience for students, including:
- Mapping of courses in nine meta-majors to create better connections between academic and workforce programs and align with the needs of employers and four-year colleges.
- First Year Experience, a program designed to connect students to resources to guide them toward graduation.
- The establishment of a yearlong class schedule that guarantees the availability of key courses to keep students on track to earn degrees.
- The launch of an online course catalog that shows recommended course sequences.
- The development of the OneRecord system, an easily searchable database that puts College records at the fingertips of Tri-C staff to better assist students.
Tri-C instituted the changes over the past few years and saw immediate results, with graduation numbers climbing to record highs. The College awarded nearly 4,300 associate degrees and certificates last year, plus more than 19,000 workforce credentials.
The report noted that the team approach encouraged by Tri-C President Alex Johnson fueled the progress.
“The College has built a culture of shared responsibility for student success by engaging faculty and staff collegewide in examining the student experience, identifying barriers to student success … and working together to remove those barriers,” the report said.
The CCRC’s full report — Redesigning Your College Through Guided Pathways: Lessons From Community Colleges in the AACC Pathways Project — and the individual case study on Tri-C are available at https://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/.
October 21, 2019
John Horton, 216-987-4281 firstname.lastname@example.org