Implementing guided academic and career pathways at scale – for all students – is the shared commitment of 30 colleges that will participate in the Pathways Project led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Paris Junior College is among the institutions invited, through a highly competitive national selection process, to join in and contribute to the work.
“This is a huge opportunity for Paris Junior College to be involved in this transformational work to implement academic and career pathways to improve student completion rates and prepare students for academic transfer or to go to work in order to meet the ambitious statewide goal of Texas to have 60 percent of individuals 25 to 34 years of age with a certificate or degree by 2030,” said Paris Junior College president Dr. Pamela Anglin.
AACC is coordinating a national partnership to build capacity for community colleges to implement a pathways approach to student success and college completion. Partners include Achieving the Dream, Inc., the Aspen Institute, the Center for Community College Student Engagement, the Community College Research Center, Jobs for the Future, the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement, and Public Agenda. Partners have participated actively in the college selection process and also are substantively involved in designing a model series of six two-day pathways institutes, each focusing on key elements in a fully scaled pathway model for community colleges. The project is funded through a $5.2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The selected colleges will be the first to participate in the pathways institute series over the next 2.5 years and will work with expert coaches at those institutes. In addition, the participating colleges themselves will contribute to learning both across the initiative and more broadly, across the community college field.
“These very diverse community colleges can feel proud of the strong foundations they have laid for this transformational work,” said AACC president Walter G. Bumphus. “We are pleased with the rigor and integrity that the Pathways partners have ensured in the selection process, and all of the partners look forward to the intensive work ahead.”
The Pathways colleges are in urban, suburban, and rural locations in 17 states, with fall headcount enrollments ranging from less than 3000 to almost 60,000 students.