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Guided Pathways Synopsis: Everett Community College

Purpose: This guide is a synopsis of the invaluable conversation that staff members of the State Board for Community and Technical College Education Division and Project Management Office had with leaders and key staff at Everett around how their college is succeeding with Guided Pathways work. It also includes what Everett needs from the system to continue their success.

Audience: College Subject Matter Experts (SME) interested in Guided Pathways.

When did we meet?  SBCTC and Everett Community College met on Monday, November 21, 2022 1-3pm.

Key Success Points

  • Guided Pathways Team Adopted Lessons from 'The 4 Disciplines of Execution': College has joined together (new Campus Council) to explore key takeaways from the aforementioned book, defining their "Wildly Important Goal" (WIG) as a means for successfully implementing their Strategic Plan across their campus. Goal: To close the opportunity gap of 3 year transfer completion and increased transfer rates by 2027.  Every division/department is to set a goal (sub-WIG) in alignment and the team will hold weekly meetings to discuss what each area is doing in their area towards that "Wildly Important Goal". Examples of this are seen in the Advising department, where work is around 'belonging' and 'being student ready' and has a lot to do with their chosen advising model. This is also seen in the Center for Disabled Student Services program, where their job is to ensure that the voices of students with disabilities are heard and are factored in when decisions are made, ensuring that when college programs and services are designed and voices of these students are not forgotten, and when conversations about equity, diversity and inclusion are held that students are at the center.
  • Revised Advising Model: Negotiating with the union to ensure faculty are engaged and developing software to make Co-Requisite classes and aligning their instructional priorities with the goals of Guided Pathways.
  • Diversity and Equity Team: They've been doing a lot of really amazing work for many years now, and serving specific cohorts and having a Program Manager for each cohort with a "peer mentoring" model that has just been amazing. Equity is really that core, on the ground work serving our students that are most in need.
  • Pathway Coaches: Adding 4 new Pathway Coaches and leveraging the success of the Diversity and Equity Team, the plan is to employ again that "peer mentoring" model to increase our outreach and support for students.
  • Tying New Positions Requests and Technology Request to Goal Meeting on the Strategic Plan: All new positions, technology requests, and significant expenditures must detail alignment with the Strategic plan to ensure equity and accountability. Departments are being asked to clearly articulate a need, target a specific element in the strategic plan, and develop how to track metrics to measure accountability.
  • Self-Placement Model: College has implemented a free self-placement model for English and Math in order to ensure students have access to college level coursework within their first year. Placement, New Student Orientation, and courses, are provided both online and in person.
  • Removing Accommodation Barriers: The college has relaxed some of their accommodation documentation requirements. The college does not rely solely on accommodation documents, using a heuristic social justice model by reviewing requests in their entirety to determine ways the students are impacted  or may have differing requirements, allowing them to accommodate a student's needs without a costly assessment document.
  • I-BEST: Dean of Transitional Studies and others have been real champions for I-Best working to ensure the instructional model is embedded into all of the Pathways to improve their success rates and to help remove the barriers.
  • Internal Resources: Instructors are giving permission to register in a more efficient manner for the students. There is also an internal support "chat" to help students solve their registration challenges, this has helped them solve the student’s issues faster.
  • Providing Services in a Central Location:  The Enrollment Services Office has Financial Aid, Cashiers’ Office, and Enrollment Services, in a one stop, which has shown success for the students.
  • Resources for Students: Offering free Chromebook checkouts and reduced cost in "Hots-Spots" per quarter.
  • Streamlining Tools: To streamline to one tool or area that could be used by a faculty, advisor, student, and financial aid staff could all use to get the same data at the same time.
  • Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): Improvements on SAP are sorely needed, including and the time frame.  When a student completes a degree, the system moves the student to a non-award seeking status which then shuts off their eligibility for financial aid, but they are at times moving on and seeking an additional certificate. Having the system monitor the program completion would be helpful and save staff time by doing this process manually.
  • Changes to Advisor Reports: Suppress some of the information that students see around Academic Advisor Reports (AARs).  They are currently using Starfish; it is easier for the students to understand.  They had Starfish on pause during implementation, so they are slowly starting to build up the functionality. But the ctcLink data is conflicting/confusing the students when looking at Starfish.
  • Student Fee/Class Transparency: Being able to see student fees, and the class modality these items are not as transparent as it could be for students.
    • SBCTC Response: There is a current data governance subcommittee addressing this concern. A proposal will be brought forward to the system in the upcoming weeks.

Key Risk Points - Please Don't Disrupt This Process

  • College did not highlight any specific areas of risk to disrupt their current business processes around Guided Pathways.

Professional Development Opportunities

  • Co-Requisite Program: ctcLink is the number one barrier for the continuation of their co-requisite program. They are struggling to get the ctcLink classes to link.  All these classes are being done manually, which is frustrating to students. (Follow up conversation was requested to help eliminate these challenges, as other schools are successful with this process).
Review of the Set of Questions SBCTC Asked All Colleges
  1. What is your college most proud of in the work you are doing to make your college more equity-centered/student-centered?  How is this shaping your strategic plans for process improvement over the next two years?
  2. What has your office done successfully to remove barriers for students who are wanting to attend?
  3. How successful do you feel your college has been developing program maps and providing opportunities for exploratory courses?  Is there anything within the ctcLink system you wish could be improved to help with this work?
  4. What changes have you made in your business practices to improve progress monitoring of students? What are you most proud of in your process for ensuring staff are involved in identifying students who are struggling?  Is there anything within the ctcLink system you wish could be improved to help with this work?
  5. Does your college currently use a Third Party Product (Starfish, EAB Navigate, Civitas, Watermark Aviso, etc.)?  If your college is using any tertiary systems (external products, business intelligence systems, and/or locally developed solutions) to support Guided Pathways, what benefits are being provided that are not currently available in ctcLink?
  6. How do you feel your college is doing in evaluating student enrollments and their alignment to completing a degree in two years?  What changes have you made across student services to support this work? Is there anything within the ctcLink system you wish could be improved to help with this work?
  7. What elements of the Guided Pathways framework is your institution currently prioritizing? How are you currently documenting your work? Is there anything within the ctcLink system you wish could be improved to help with this work?

Questions for Specific Offices/Teams:

  1. From each office (IT, Financial Aid, Admissions, etc.), what has been your greatest improvement to support Guided Pathways?
  2. From each office, if you could improve the system in one small way to help your office significantly to support GP, what would you change in ctcLink?
  3. From a data perspective- 
    1. How are you tracking a student’s journey through their programs on your campus?  
    2. How are you currently reporting student enrollments by meta-major?  Are you using locally developed Plan Code to Meta-Major crosswalks?
    3. What data points are you finding it difficult to track in the system today and what would you learn from tracking that data? 
    4. Is there anything within the ctcLink system you wish could be improved to help with this work?
  4.  From your area’s perspective, what key enhancements could you envision that would support your college’s Guided Pathways work?  


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