“Students bring innate talent and drive, but colleges unwittingly stifle them in so many ways.” – Dr. Davis Jenkins, Senior Research Scholar at the Community College Research Center, Columbia University
Inspiring students and motivating them to completion was the focus of the recent MOCAN Guided Pathways Summer Institute held in partnership with Complete College America and Missouri Community College Association.
Guided Pathways is a movement to streamline the student experience in college, providing structured support, clear communications, and career opportunities. When implemented holistically, guided pathways shows strong results in completion, including for BILPOC students.
Among the takeaways:
- The key is more effectively building relationships – with students, and with colleagues across institutional departments.
- Guided pathways is a cultural shift. It’s critical to have faculty working with staff.
- Breaking down institutional jargon is essential. Start with a student-friendly website.
- Students are focused on the end goal. They don’t want a lot of choices, they want options aligned with their career pathway but we have to structure them that way.
- Advisers need to be intentional in their career conversations, integrating academics and opportunities for work experience.
- There is opportunity to align career pathways at community colleges with the career clusters used in K-12 schools. There is also opportunity to connect students with registered youth apprenticeships.
- This is iterative work; there is no end point.
Special thanks to our presenters and planning committee:
- Nikolas Huot, Complete College America
- Dr. Davis Jenkins, Community College Research Center
- David Hewkin, Missouri Dept. of Higher Education & Workforce Development
- Dr. Perry Gorrell, Missouri Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education
- Dr. Feleccia Moore-Davis, St. Louis Community College
- Dr. Robyn Walter, East Central College
- Dr. Drew Wilkerson, Metropolitan Community College
- Dr. Devin Miles, St. Charles Community College