Guided Pathways at Washington State’s Community and Technical Colleges

Guided Pathways at Washington State’s Community and Technical Colleges

October 16, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Everyone has dreams. She’s fascinated by
technology. They want to start a business. He’s inspired to save lives. Those dreams
for a good life and well-paying jobs require education beyond high school. But
many American college students don’t graduate on time … or at all … at a high
cost to themselves, their families and taxpayers. Students who are the first in
their families to go to college face an even bigger struggle because no one has
gone before them. These students are more likely to be low-income students and
students of color. We can do better. Guided Pathways is a nationally
recognized, research-based approach. It helps students of all ages explore their
options and work toward a career. Not just a degree. It’s challenging to
translate interests and skills into a career … or understand the education
needed to achieve your goals. A student interested in the healthcare
field, for example, could earn a one-year certificate and become a pharmacy
technician. Or she could earn a two-year or four-year degree and become a nurse.
Or she might go to medical school to become a doctor.
Many times students don’t know all the options within a career field or how to
choose among them. This makes selecting the right classes
in the right order difficult. No wonder so many students take unnecessary
credits … or just give up. With Guided Pathways, colleges are making the choices clearer by grouping courses together in broad fields of interest —
like information technology, business or education. With help from advisors,
students select a field and are quickly introduced to all their career options.
Students learn critical concepts right away and discover pretty quickly what
they do — or don’t — like, saving time and money if it’s not the right fit.
Research shows the sooner a student begins their journey, the more likely
they are to graduate on time with fewer credits and less debt. A student hones in on a specific career, advisors give them packaged program maps for a clear pathway toward that career. The Guided Pathways approach supports
students by exposing them to all their options … including transferring to a
university to earn a next level degree. Washington’s Community and Technical
College’s are pursuing guided pathways to help students achieve their dreams
and launch their careers. As more students graduate and move into their
careers they lift our economy with them. And when our students succeed, our state
succeeds. Visit www.SBCTC.edu to learn more about how Guided Pathways helps students and Washington State succeed. Just type “Guided Pathways” into the search box.