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Guided Pathways: Home

Guided Pathways

  • Guided pathways are a framework for redesigning an entire community college to
    improve the student experience for everyone, from entry through graduation. Guided
    pathways initiatives involve:
    • reforms in advising and registration processes to help all students identify
      their goals early in their academic careers
    • improvements in how students are supported throughout their courses of study 
    • clear "maps" for each program of study that guide students as they select courses, and
    • programs that, ideally, are aligned with career opportunities in the labor market.



Highline Guided Pathways Implementation Work Plan

This is the work plan created by the Highline Guided Pathways Steering Committee. Based on requirements from the Washington State Board of
Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), this plan is a map and set of guidelines for implementing the Guided Pathways model at Highline.

Background on Guided Pathways

Implementing Guided Pathways: Early Insights From the AACC Pathways Colleges
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) issued a report in 2017 that "provides insight into how colleges are planning and implementing “guided pathways” reforms based on the early work of 30 colleges participating in the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Pathways Project. These colleges have committed to redesigning their programs and support services for all incoming students by fall 2018 according to the guided pathways model adopted by AACC based on CCRC’s research."

Download the Executive Summary of the Report (6 pages)

Download the Entire Report (66 pages)

AACC -  What is the “Pathways Model?” (2 pages)
CCRC - Implementing Guided Pathways-Tips and Tools (8 pages)

Information and Resources - State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC)

Go here to see more about the SBCTC and guided pathways, including its vision, mission, and guiding principles regarding guided pathways.

The Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges has prepared an online resource center for community and technical college faculty, staff and practitioners is organized by overarching topics . These topics include an overview, access and onboarding, program mapping, completion and transfer, career and labor market, technology, and leadership.

About the Highline Plan

Highline has developed a Guided Pathways work plan (see above box) adapted from a template from the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC).

The purpose of this plan is to:

  • Assess how far along Highline is in implementing essential Guided Pathways practices at scale
  • Plan for scaled implementation in areas where additional work is needed
  • Monitor Highline's progress toward full implementation
  • Inform improvements to future institutes, coaching, or additional technical assistance


The Highline College Plan is comprised of four major Priority Areas:

PRIORITY AREA 1:  All programs (degrees and certificates) prepare students for better jobs, further education, and increased opportunities.

SBCTC Guided Pathway Essential Practices:

  • Meta Majors and Programs of Study 
  • Exploratory Sequence for Each Meta Major
  • Program/Degree Maps
  • Degree Math and College Level English within One Year
  • Math Pathways

PRIORITY AREA 2:  All students have the supports they need to explore career options, become part of a community, and complete programs efficiently.

SBCTC Guided Pathway Essential Practices:

  •  Intake 
  • Advising 
  • Scheduling  
  • Intervention and/or Redirecting Students as Needed 

PRIORITY AREA 3:  Highline faculty and staff have the competencies, skills and experience to support student success in and out of the classroom in an equitable manner.

SBCTC Guided Pathway Essential Practices:

  •  Gatekeeper Courses
  • Ensuring Learning

PRIORITY AREA 4:  Highline College continually builds institutional capacity to implement guided pathways as a strategy for increasing student completions and closing equity gaps

Staff and faculty can also track and report on the number of students who change pathways or programs, and use this information to change curriculum and/or advising as needed.

SBCTC Guided Pathway Essential Practices:

  • Faculty, Staff, & Student Engagement
  • Communication