Practical Lessons from Completion by Design Colleges
After the Planning Phase, colleges are now prepared to embark on the next step: Implementation. CBD provides a framework for colleges to identify student barriers to progression, design comprehensive solutions to overcome them, and drive institutional transformation to sustain the new ways of doing business. At the core of this transformation are Guided Pathways.
A Guided Pathway is clear and coherent map that integrates academic and support services across the student experience. It starts at students’ entry points to higher education and guides them at each step of their journey to keep them on track to completion. Click here for the Guided Pathways toolkit.
Completion by Design’s Pathway Design Principles guide the choices colleges make to boost completion rates
- Ensure students know requirements for success
- Minimize time required to prepare for college
- Accelerate entry into coherent programs of study
- Customize and contextualize instruction
- Integrate student supports with instruction
- Leverage technology to improve learning and program delivery
- Continually monitor student progress and provide proactive guidance
- Reward behaviors that contribute to completion
Over the past four years, CBD colleges have aligned policies, programs and practices to create Guided Pathways that support students to be more successful. This is a bold, innovative and aggressive approach to student success because it requires total institutional alignment of people, structures and culture. The CBD colleges are making significant progress in their assault on the very complex completion problem, and they’re ready to share what they’ve learned to date.
At the same time the CBD colleges continue their own work, they are also helping others—mentoring other colleges, sharing their experiences at regional and national meetings, and informing policymakers and education leaders in their states. In 2015 alone, CBD colleges supported more than 100 community and four-year colleges nationwide to start, revive and improve their educational reform efforts.
The CBD colleges are excited to share even more broadly what they’ve learned. That’s why this document was created—a tool for faculty and staff who will do the hard work to design, implement and sustain Guided Pathways at their colleges. As a whole, this Guided Pathways toolkit describes:
- how the colleges organized to do the work
- what they’ve accomplished to date
- how they determine what’s working—and use that information to make it better
- what they’ve learned that will help other colleges; and
- what they’re still struggling with today.
How CBD Colleges Approached the Work focuses on how the CBD colleges structured and organized their work.
Real Stories from CBD Colleges provides a window into the unique experiences of the colleges, where they started, what they did and—most importantly—what they learned as they developed their Guided Pathways.
Lessons for Other Colleges lays out key takeaways that other colleges committed to sustainable change can apply to their work. It also provides a framework to assess institutional readiness for developing Guided Pathways.
Resources provides contact information and tells you where to find supplemental materials that could be helpful on your journey to developing Guided Pathways.
We will continue to add sections to this toolkit over time. We hope our stories and insights are useful to other college practitioners, and welcome dialogue with other colleges to learn more about what they are doing. Please use the contact information included at the end of this toolkit to get in touch.