“Equity Is Behind All of This”: How Community Colleges Are Strengthening Guided Pathways and Ensuring Students Are Learning
Health Sciences is the most popular academic pathway at Chattanooga State Community College, enrolling more than 40 percent of first-year students each fall. But over the years, many of these students never made it to graduation.
“We were seeing two things,” says Julius Dodds, director of academic retention at Chattanooga State. “First, students were failing out, changing their majors, or leaving the college. Second, which is even more of a concern, the students who stayed for multiple semesters did not include students of color.”
In 2019, Chattanooga State was one of twenty community colleges to join Strengthening Guided Pathways and Career Success by Ensuring Students Are Learning, a two-year project led by AAC&U.
The project draws on the Guided Pathways framework, which supports institutions as they (1) map academic pathways and degree programs to student goals; (2) help students choose and enter a degree pathway; (3) keep students on their paths; and (4) build institutional capacity to ensure students are learning.
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