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Connect to Complete

Guided Pathways at MCCCD

Connect to CompleteGuided Pathways is an evidence-based, comprehensive redesign that helps students identify their educational and career goals, determine their needs, and then chart a clear, coherent pathway to timely goal completion. Students begin their pathway by taking courses shared among broadly related areas of study, allowing for early career exploration, contextualized learning, and meaningful connections.  Guided Pathways provides a holistic learning experience that promotes self-fulfillment and includes carefully sequenced courses, predictable schedules, recognizable milestones, and ongoing integrated support services. 

The Guided Pathways redesign is focused on student success, social justice, and decreasing the equity gap. The aim of Guided Pathways is to increase retention and completion, lower educational costs for students, and help students build the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind needed to be successful in their chosen career and/or transfer institution. Guided Pathways constitutes a transformation of our institution’s structures, practices, policies and procedures.

For more information on Guided Pathways at PC, also known as Connect To Complete, click here

Guided Pathways Design Principles:

Ensure students know requirements for success

Minimize time required to prepare for college

Accelerate entry into coherent programs of study

Customize and contextualize instruction

Integrate student supports with instruction

Leverage technology to improve learning and program delivery

Continually monitor student progress and provide proactive guidance

Reward behaviors that contribute to completion (CBD Building Guided Pathways)

Support students from initial connection and entry through progress, completion and beyond

Description Guided Pathways Focus Areas 

Technology Tools and Integration

Based on best practices and the literature, E-Tools and related technology are critical to the implementation of Guided Pathways. E-Tools and related technology are educational software that can impact the recruitment, admission, orientation, advisement, retention, and graduation of students along the life cycle continuum. Further, e-tools should support the integration of communication, academic support and assessment in order to provide students with relevant, timely, and responsive information.

The work related to adoption of tools, technology integration and training consists of the following:

  • Data Review and Analysis of Pathways
  • Development of implementation/roll out strategy
  • Communication Strategy
  • Setup and integration
  • Testing and End User Validation


Pathway Mapping

Pathway mapping is a key element of the GP model.  The pathway mapping process, as written in the submission for the $300,000 Teagle Implementation grant,  refers to the process of mapping out academic certificates, degrees, clock-hour programs, and transfer options and was developed based on research and best practice.  Much of this work will be carried out in a cross-college approach. Instructional councils will serve as one of the primary channels through which faculty will be engaged in discussions and collaborative inquiry about Guided Pathways and the cross-college work to be accomplished.  See the full description of program mapping in the following document: Pathway Mapping Process - Teagle Grant.


Institutes and Meta Majors

In national Guided Pathways models, college programs are gathered into broad categories of related areas of study often referred to as “meta majors.” Meta majors are educational programs that have related courses and / or requirements. They include courses that meet academic and/or industry requirements across several disciplines and specific programs of study. Meta majors help students identify a program pathway that aligns with their interests, knowledge, skills and abilities. Enrollment and completion of meta-major courses guide students through initial foundational requirements and into more specific programs of study. In this focus area, participants would be creating, naming, and populating the “meta majors” for Maricopa.


Data Analytics

Data analytics and metrics help us to make the case for Guided Pathways (GP). They also allow practitioners to plan for the most effective implementation. Early benchmarks will allow us to see the impact of our efforts. Long-term tracking of key metrics provides us with the information we need to evaluate our work and close the loop as we refine and revise our efforts. The effective tracking of benchmarks will help team members see their progress and it will help GP as we communicate our work to stakeholders in collaboration with OCM-COM (District Organizational Change Management and Communication).


Integrated Developmental Education

Integrating Developmental Education into the Guided Pathways means transitioning from isolating students into pre college coursework before they can enter college work into blending students into the college-level pathways from the beginning. This transition requires a review of placement practices and curricular changes, a move to embed success strategies and student supports into every classroom, and increased professional development for faculty and staff.  For students whose reading, writing, and numeracy skills are extremely low, we will develop and offer a special START program involving Career Exploration, Study Skills, and block scheduled. remediation addressing both academic and affective issues so that students can enter the college level courses in semester’s time. 


Integrated Student Support: Intake & Onboarding and Ongoing Support

Intake and Onboarding Description:

Data and experience point to incoming students’—most of whom were the first in their families to attend college—pronounced lack of understanding about admissions, residency, financial aid, and other documentation required to enroll in courses, as well as the skills required to be successful in college. 

To address this, restructured intake processes provide students the information, advising and career guidance, and support necessary to start and stay on the right path.  

  • High school and prospective student outreach (pre-college advising and career exploration) 
  • Orientation for new-to-college students 
  • College readiness and career assessments 
  • Cohort based, assigned advisors, pre-advising
  • Contextualized College Success Courses and First-term, First-year experiences
  • Institutional policy and practice alignment
  • Streamlined admissions, financial aid, and payment processes with technological enhancement


Ongoing Support Description:

A central tenet of the Guided Pathways approach is to support student progress across their entire program pathway to successful completion. This implies the need for significant coordination among groups of faculty and student services personnel.

Coordinated elements include: 

  • College Success Course
  • Career Services to support program of study exploration and choice that align with interests
  • Proactive and intrusive advising that supports students to make the most appropriate decisions at each stage of the journey toward completion
  • Success Coaching
  • Supplemental supports (such as labs and tutors) and co-curricular activities (internships, career community activities, and clubs) that are aligned with and augment classroom learning 
  • E-tool to monitor progress
  • Early Alerts and interventions that help students stay on their pathways, persist, and progress
  • Clear, actionable information relevant to each stage of progress and completion 

For additional information Visit Maricopa Transformation