9/21 Deadline: Pathways Project

Achieving the Dream (ATD) is proud to announce that we are a key partner in the recently announced Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) for its Pathways Project to help community colleges build capacity to implement a pathways approach to completion and student success.  We join several leading organizations in helping to shape an important next piece of the community college reform agenda.

Many ATD colleges already are deeply involved in developing and strengthening pathways, fueled by what we have learned as a Network in more than a decade of student success work. We now know we must expand our focus from students’ first experiences in developmental education and gateway courses to their entire journey through community college and beyond.

As ATD President, Dr. Karen Stout will be serving on the project steering committee where she will be in the forefront of thinking about the design and implementation of the Project, including development of the series of six institutes that together will address the key components of structured pathways. Achieving the Dream also will keep our Network colleges informed about the Pathways Project application process and subsequent activities. We are certain that many ATD colleges can make a compelling case to be selected for the inaugural cohort of 30 colleges. To be considered, colleges must submit to AACC an application based on what the collaborating partners believe to be important readiness characteristics for pathways work and subsequently participate in an interview.

A few well established ATD Leadership Coaches will be tapped to be among the Pathways Project Coaches. Their participation will offer us a unique learning opportunity to further develop the capacity of our coaching cadre so that we can introduce all of our Network colleges to pathways work. Achieving the Dream’s new Class of 2015 colleges already received an orientation to pathways at the recent Kick-Off Institute.

As some of you know, ATD has been doing its own pathways work, providing technical assistance to Network colleges to develop or strengthen their structured pathways. For example, colleges selected for our retail pathways project, funded by the Walmart Foundation, are now building for-credit, stackable short-term pathways that lead to middle-skill positions in the retail industry. Colleges in the Northeast Resiliency Consortium, supported by the US Department of Labor, are collaborating to create structured pathways to positions in the health care, information technology, and environmental technologies sectors.  Lastly, I am excited about ATD’s newest technical assistance opportunity supporting 12 community colleges and two four-year colleges participating in the new Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success in Higher Education (iPASS) project which focuses on this essential element of a guided pathways approach.

For further information about the Pathways Project and application materials, please contact Sarah Cale, Pathways Project program manager at scale@aacc.nche.edu. September 21 is the deadline to submit the application.  We hope to see many of our ATD colleges in this first cohort.  We are eager to learn from you!

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