Southwestern College Chosen for California Guided Pathways Project

Professor Ken Yannow explains to a prospective student the potential careers using an earth sciences degree.
Professor Ken Yannow explains to a prospective student the potential careers using an earth sciences degree.

College is 1 of 20 in California chosen.

CHULA VISTA, California ­– Students attending Southwestern College will now have a clearer path to completing their degrees or workforce goals, thanks to Southwestern being named a California Guided Pathways Project college.

Southwestern College is one of 20 colleges in the state chosen for the project, which helps colleges across California implement clear and structured student-focused pathways to ensure success in students’ educational goals and careers.

“Being awarded this opportunity to explore Guided Pathways recognizes that Southwestern College’s faculty are invested in innovation,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Kindred Murillo. “Our willingness to explore the possibilities presented by this project in the name of student success is proof that we are dedicated to finding new ways to serve our students and deliver an excellent educational experience.”

These pathways will give students the opportunity to explore academic and career technical options with clear steps. Students will have a straightforward understanding of program outcomes, including required courses, progress milestones, learning outcomes as well as next steps for their degrees or careers.

Acceptance to the pathways project included work and input from across the college, including a committee of faculty, staff and administrators. Southwestern College’s application stressed its commitment to significant instructional changes to implement the guided pathways. The pathways will be designed around programs with careers and transferring to a four-year university as its main goals, with several key milestones each semester.

Faculty and advisors will develop program maps that will include scheduled and targeted goals, skills and progress achieved so students are not only staying on track to complete their program, but are building upon necessary skills they’ll need for future education or employment.

The California Guided Pathways Project has four essential steps for students:

  1. Clarify paths to students’ goals. (degrees, certificates, transferring)
  2. Help students choose and enter a pathway.
  3. Help students stay on path (advising, progress monitoring, non-academic support).
  4. Ensure that students are learning (learning outcomes, internships).

Southwestern College will create a pathways team that will advise students and monitor their progress. The team will also collect and review data and participate in institutes for the next three years to help monitor progress and growth. The college will receive support from a team of pathways coaches and information on complementary reform efforts in California to help support the college’s efforts.

The California Guided Pathways Project is funded by College Futures Foundation and the Teagle Foundation.