Redesigning the Student Experience: A Guided Pathways Framework
An integrated, inclusive approach to reimagine and comprehensively redesign the SMC student experience. This effort involves reshaping the college as an equitable institution that is more effective and more efficient at serving our diverse student body with its diverse aspirations and its diverse social and academic preparations. Using a student-centered approach and seeing the institution through a student lens, the redesign engages the college as an inquiry-based, networked community to create an equity-driven institution as competent in student completion as it is in student access.
Goals of the redesign
reduce/eliminate equity gaps
reduce time to completion
increase rates of completion overall
SMC is a well-known, quality institution with exceptional faculty, staff and programs. For the 27th consecutive year, SMC has topped the list of community colleges in the number of students transferring to the UC system as well as the number of Black and Latina/o/x students transferring to the UC system. SMC is 2nd in the total number of combined transfers to the CSU and the UC systems. However, too many of our students are not achieving their self-defined goals. In redesigning the college experience, we seek to build on our assets and bring additional efforts "to scale" for the benefit of all students so that we may address the problems plaguing not just SMC, but nearly all community colleges (and most 4-year institutions). Specifically, we seek to address the fact most of our students are not achieving their goal. Less than 20% of our SMC students earn a degree, a certificate, or transfer to a 4-year institution within 3 years of their first attendance at college. Moreover, the rate of Latina/o/x and Black students achieving that success is less than half the rate of White students.
The Guided Pathways Framework
The basis of the redesign effort is to utilize a Guided Pathways Framework to make the student experience more intentional, supported, and clear. We are constructing processes and interventions to help guide and support each student--regardless of preparation--to reach their self-defined completion effectively and efficiently.
- The Guided Pathways Framework is not "a program", "an initiative", "a pilot", nor what we are going to "do".
- The Guided Pathways Framework helps us design what we would "become".
"But don't pathways limit students' ability to explore?"
Rather than restricting students’ options, the Guided Pathways Framework is meant to help students make more informed decisions without limiting students' options. Students will
always be free to "explore". In the Guided Pathways Framework they will have a structure in which to explore and a better understanding of the implications of that exploration.
SMC's Comprehensive Redesign Team (How do I get involved?)
Click to enter SMC's Redesign team map:
"Quick reads" for an introduction to the Guided Pathways Framework: