Faculty Senate considers new program concerning a pathway for students

Alison Hernandez

Cerritos College is considering taking part in a new program meant to help students called California Guided Pathways.

The new program was presented by Instructional Dean for Liberal Arts David Fabish during a Faculty Senate meeting on Oct. 10.

Fabish explained that Guided Pathways provide students with more guidance than most are receiving now.

He says that providing this additional guidance will help students reach their academic goals more quickly than they do now.

The goal of the program is to provide students with a greater understanding of their options and about which course they need to take in order to reach their goal the fastest.

Another objective of the program is to get college professionals to learn from their students how best to provide them with guidance.

Guided Pathways is looking to:

  • Clarify pathways
  • Improve the ways students enter their chosen path
  • Show students how to stay on their paths

As an example, Fabish said this means improving college placement processes and ensuring that the classes students may need are available.

Fabish says that Guided Pathways will not have a direct impact on financial aid like BOGS and Pell Grants.

“It will have a helpful indirect impact. This is because Guided Pathways will help prevent students from taking classes they really don’t need to achieve their academic goals; and, therefore, less financial aid will be spent supporting these unnecessary classes.

“That, in turn, helps relieve a problem students sometimes have when they find they have spent too much financial aid in community college, resulting in too little available at the four-year university they transfer to,” he said.

Fabish also said that the impact the program will have on students is they’ll be less confused when confronted with the thousands of course options and hundreds of areas of study.

The main impact is that it will help students complete their academic goals more quickly.

The state of California has designated $150 million in funding for colleges that take part in the program.

If Cerritos College chooses to participate in the program the school could potentially receive $1.2 to $1.5 million in funding over the course of a 5-year period.

In order to qualify, Cerritos College must first create a 5-year-plan, though California has not yet set any requirements for what should be in the plans just yet, and attend a workshop.

Cerritos College already has some plans based on Guided Pathways such as AIME and PACT.

The Faculty Senate still needs more information about the program so they can make a decision on whether or not Cerritos College will take part.

Fabish has been asked to attend the next Faculty Senate meeting on Oct. 24 in order to provide more information about the program and answer any other questions faculty might have.