Pathways Initiative: Guiding Students to College Completion

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Article by: Jennifer L. Colter

The Pathways Project – Guiding Students to College Completion
Prince George’s Community College Selected for National Initiative

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).  Prince George’s Community College is among the institutions invited, through a highly competitive national selection process, to join in and contribute to the work. 

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 in17 states, with fall headcount enrollments ranging from less than 3000 to almost 60,000 students.  The selected institutions are:

Alamo Colleges (TX)
Bakersfield College (CA)
Broward College (FL)
Cleveland State Community College (TN)
Columbus State Community College (OH)
Community College of Philadelphia (PA)
Cuyahoga Community College (OH)
El Paso Community College (TX)
Front Range Community College (CO)
Indian River State College (FL)
Irvine Valley College (CA)
Jackson College (MI)
Lansing Community College (MI)
Linn-Benton Community College (OR)
Monroe Community College (NY)
Mt. San Antonio College (CA)
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (WI)
Paris Junior College (TX)
Pierce College District (WA)
Prince George’s Community College (MD)
St. Petersburg College (FL)
San Jacinto College (TX)
Skagit Valley College (WA)
Stanly Community College (NC)
South Seattle Community College (WA)
Tallahassee Community College (FL)
Tulsa Community College (OK)
Wallace State College (AL)
Western Wyoming Community College (WY)
Zane State College (OH)


For more information, the following additional contacts for the AACC are:

Kay McClenney, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor to the President/CEO
American Association of Community Colleges

Gretchen Schmidt, Ed.D.
Executive Director, Pathways Project
American Association of Community Colleges
To learn about PGCC's participation in the Pathways Initiative, call (301) 546-PGCC (7422). 

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