One of thirty institutions in the country selected last year for the national Pathways Project to better guide academic and a career pathway, Paris Junior College is well along in the process.
Recently staff and faculty attended the fourth of six institutes, this one focusing on student engagement in the classroom. Pathways provides support services and re-aligns curricula and instruction to help students master the knowledge and skills they need to meet their ultimate career goals.
To prepare for the workshop, PJC President Dr. Pam Anglin held focus groups with students and faculty to get fresh input on how well PJC is doing in the classroom, with the goal of ensuring students are making progress along their chosen pathway.
Towards that end, the fourth Institute set the following objectives:
- promote integration of educational practices into pathways;
- redesign program learning outcomes so that students start with the end in mind of either a career or effective transfer;
- review current data on students’ experiences and how that can be used to improve current educational practices;
- highlight effective practices ensuring students are achieving the desired outcomes;
- build cultural competence in classrooms and achieve equitable outcomes for all student groups;
- instill a constant quest for educational quality into college culture and practice.
Joining Dr. Anglin at the Institute were Vice President of Student Learning Dr. Pamela Millsap, Vice President of Workforce Education John Spradling, Associate Vice President of Student Access and Success Sheila Reece, and History/Government Instructor David Larkin.
“Being a part of the Pathways Project will be beneficial to all current and future PJC students,” said Dr. Anglin. “Our participation has provided us access to top leaders and researchers across the country.”
PJC also received early word that the college will be a pilot school in another national project to promote a “growth mindset” this fall, tackling the problem of students who do not believe themselves smart enough to succeed in college.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is paying expenses for PJC’s participation in the Pathways project. The Pathways Project is an American Association of Community Colleges initiative that aims to improve student success both in the classroom and in the field.