The Guided Pathways Team hosted an all-day retreat to convene the College Steering Committee and engage in Cross Functional Inquiry, one of the key elements the college said it attendedwould address in the first year of the grant. The Guided Pathways Retreat was well by a diverse body consisting of faculty, staff and even students across many sectors of the shared governance spectrum.
Core Team Leads Stefani de Vito and Samantha Kessler gave an overview of the Guided Pathways model as it related to Merritt. Through the four pillars of guided pathways—Clarifying the Path, Choosing a Path, Staying on the Path, and Ensuring that Learning is Happening—all areas of the college are beginning to engage in work to identify Merritt’s strengths and areas thought of as challenges with opportunities to be redesigned with the student perspective in mind.
Highlighted at the retreat was First-Year Experience (FYE), a model program led by Rosa Perez, whose hard work and coordination are key components in the success of the program, despite obstacles that often arise, to successfully complete degrees and certificates.
A spirited dialogue followed around challenges the college may face when trying to implement Guided Pathways. Pillar Team members participated in an online survey where they had to describe their feelings about Guided Pathways in one word. The results were compiled into a “Word Cloud” (above) in which larger words signify more popular responses. The results look surprisingly powerful and should serve as a reminder of why we are working toward improving our practices.