Despite our best efforts, student completion rates remain unsatisfactory. On average about 35% of U.S. community college students earn a certificate, degree or transfer. Chemeketa is above average at about 40% but some schools are above 60% in their completion rate.
So we have room to improve but the question is how?
On Monday, March 13 Dr. Rob Johnstone met with nearly 200 Chemeketa faculty and staff in a series of meetings to make the case that guided pathways is the answer.
Dr. Johnstone summarizes guided pathways as a movement with four foundational elements –
- Clarify the paths. Map all programs and include features that clarify paths, such as detailed outcomes, course sequences and progress outcomes.
- Help students get on a path. Require supports that help students get the best start, including first-year experiences and integrated academic support.
- Help students stay on the path. Keep students on track with supports such as intrusive advising and systems for tracking progress.
- Ensure students are learning. Use practices that assess and enrich student learning, including program specific learning outcomes and applied learning experiences.
Johnstone predicts implementation of effective guided pathways is a long-term project requiring a 10-year committment to become fullly beneficial. Chemeketa will continue our conversation and assesment into spring term.