Glendale Guided Pathways team provides update during open house


Glendale Community College Vice President of Student Affairs Monica Castaneda speaks during the Guided Pathways Open House Feb. 11 in Glendale, Ariz.

GLENDALE, Ariz – Glendale Community College’s Guided Pathways to Success Steering Committee held an open house in the Student Union Feb. 11 to give an update on the initiative before its full rollout this fall.

The quad chairs of the committee; Vice President of Student Affairs Monica Castaneda, Vice President of Academic Affairs Scott Schulz, journalism faculty (and advisor of The Voice) Jenna Duncan and fitness and wellness department chair Lisa Lewis, each spoke about transformative elements coming to the college. These include new paths, technologies, changes to advisement and the sorting of subject areas into fields of interest.

The steering committee is responsible for the implementation of Guided Pathways, which is designed to help students find a major and degree path early on through career exploration, with a clear path of the required classes for a degree, certificate or university transfer.

“It’s (the technology) going to be different as we move forward, because I think a lot of folks have been really relying on check sheets over the years, And I think there’s a lot of value in that,” Schulz said. “But it’s going to look different moving forward, so, change Is OK. We’re going to help our students really guide through this process.”

Lewis discussed the nine different fields of interest: Applied Technology, Behavioral Science and Human Services, Business, Entrepreneurism and Management, Computer and Information Technology, Culture and Society, Education, Health Sciences, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and Visual and Performing Arts. Within each field of interest, are associate degree, certificate and transfer options.

“We wanted to try to group students by their area of interest,” Lewis said. “Students that have common themes, common requirements, common jobs that they were looking for into these big buckets.”

Each individual field of interest will also have its own team of Advisors, admissions, records and financial aid staff, counselors, tutors, library faculty, career services staff, department chairs and faculty representatives from the English, communications and reading departments.

“Imagine that the student, this is, all of these people have their back right,” Lewis said. “When the students have an issue, they’re going to be able to reach out to one of these individuals to get answers to the questions that they have.”

According to the steering committee’s presentation, programs were sorted into fields of interest by five criteria: related courses like math or communication, related student experiences, connections to their industry and internships, similar requirements and language and logic that makes sense to students.

Student Services Director Christine Neill discussed recent changes to advising and the Enrollment Center in the time since she was hired before the fall 2018 semester.

Starting in the spring 2019 semester, a new model featuring advisement appointments as well as walk-ins began.

“When I came here, it was all walk ins, and we want students to have the time, the space to meet with their FOI (field of interest) advisor, so we had to create an appointment system and that was a big shift for us,” Neill said.

Neill said that the Enrollment Center has also reduced wait times for students. Seven new advisors have been hired.

This past semester, the Gaucho 101 enrollment workshop and new student orientation have been moved into the Enrollment Center.

There are also developmental education and placement changes for Guided Pathways in development for math, English and reading paths depending on the student’s needs.

STEM and business majors will be on a college algebra track. If intensive support is needed, MAT 114/115, a prep course for college algebra, will be offered for students that place there, with the option to drop back to a MAT 082/092 course if the available support is not enough. MAT 121, intermediate algebra, will be a standalone course.

For non-STEM majors, MAT 103, a support course to prep for college math, MAT 141/142, will be offered. The option to move back to an 082 or 092 class if existing support options are not effective also will be an option.

ALT 100, an intensive four- credit reading and writing course for students that need intensive support in reading and English will also be available for students. According to the presentation, the model for placement is still being designed.

“We’re now using multiple measures of placement, so we’re looking at their incoming reading skills, we’re looking at their incoming writing skills, and work to best inform the course they’re going to take,” English faculty, and developmental education committee chair Mary Alpaugh said.

Once the presentation concluded, the committee asked for questions from the audience.