Pathways Resources

AACC Pathways Project

Guided Pathways Demystified: Exploring Ten Commonly Asked Questions about Implementing Pathways

This report is designed for higher education leaders and explores ten commonly asked questions about implementing guided pathways. It addresses concern about compromising our higher education values, practical considerations about control and enrollment, and apprehensions about the impact on students' learning and development— all issues that will need to be addressed to successfully pursue a guided pathways effort.

Guided Pathways Demystified II: Addressing 10 New Questions as the Movement Gains Momentum

This report is the second in a series of resources designed for higher education leaders and explores 10 new "momentum" questions reflective of the uptake in guided pathways across our nation's colleges. It addresses inquiries related to culture change, implications for the student experience, practical concerns for educators, and operational considerations and is designed to support institutions in ground - level planning and implementation.

American Association of Community College’s Pathways project website

Contains the lists of the first two cohorts of participating community colleges. It also contains the resources used for the Institutes for the cohorts as they work through their pathways implementations.

Guided Pathways: Planning, Implementation, Evaluation

Creating guided pathways requires managing and sustaining large-scale transformational change. The work begins with thorough planning, continues through consistent implementation, and depends on ongoing evaluation.

Dr. Gretchen Schmidt

Dr. Gretchen Schmidt

Dr. Gretchen Schmidt serves as the Executive Director of the American Association of Community Colleges Pathways Project. She just completed the three-year grant initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation designed to create a national model for scaling guided pathways reforms with thirty selected institutions. Currently, she is leading the reform work with thirteen institutions that are participating in the second cohort of the Pathways Project. Dr. Schmidt works alongside seven partner organizations to develop and refine the curriculum and resource materials for the Pathways Institutes. She also leads a cadre of Pathways coaches and is creating a guided pathways coaching guide, which will be available to the field in the spring of 2018. 

Prior to her time at AACC, she was a program director for Jobs for the Future’s Postsecondary State Policy team. In that role, she provided technical assistance to states to implement policies that support student completion agendas to ensure that more students enter into community college programs and complete credentials with labor market value. Dr. Schmidt has more than 18 years of experience in higher education. Before JFF, she spent five years in the Virginia Community College System—first as educational policy director, then as assistant vice chancellor for academic and student services. One of the projects she oversaw as vice chancellor was VCCS’ developmental education redesign initiative, which included policy management, professional development programming for faculty, enhancing student support services and working with high schools to improve Virginia high school students’ college readiness. She also served on the staff of state college boards in Arizona, and taught graduate higher education courses in Virginia and Arizona.

Video of Dr. Gretchen Schmidt's presentation
Lessons Learned from the AACC Pathways Project and National Pathways Examples
Thursday, April 5, 2018


Other Pathways Resources

What we Know About Guided Pathways

This practitioner packet is designed to help community college leaders and staff who are considering guided pathways reforms at their college.

Redesigning America’s Community Colleges

Distilling a wealth of data amassed from the Community College Research Center (Teachers College, Columbia University), Redesigning America’s Community Colleges offers a fundamental redesign of the way two-year colleges operate, stressing the integration of services and instruction into more clearly structured programs of study that support every student’s goals.

A Simpler Path, Authors Say, Is Key to Community-College Completion

Q/A article with Redesigning America’s Community Colleges co-author Thomas R. Bailey.

Implementing Guided Pathways

This report 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.

A Call to Reform Undergraduate Education

Major study by American Academy of Arts and Sciences seeks change in curriculum and assessment, commitment to funding public higher education, new ideas about the faculty role, and more.

Presentation Slides

Pathways Presentation


Slide presentation from the Aug. 15, 2019 Faculty/Staff In-Service

Civitas Learning Presentation

March 21, 2018
By Mark Millirons, Founder and CEO of Civitas Learning

Pathways Next Steps

Slide presentation from the Jan. 18, 2018 Faculty/Staff In-Service

Resources for Pathways

Slide presentation from the Jan. 18, 2018 Faculty/Staff In-Service

Resources for Pathways

Slide presentation from the Nov. 29, 2017 Faculty/Staff Forum