Guided Pathways Framework: 
A college’s guided pathways framework is an institution-wide approach to student success based on intentionally designed, clear, coherent, and structured educational experiences, informed by available evidence, which are intended to guide each student effectively and efficiently from his/her point of entry through to attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials and degrees and into careers with value in the labor market and as citizens in society. Guided pathways is an umbrella term used to describe highly-structured student experiences that guide them on the pathway to completion.

Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT, AA-T Associate of Arts and AS-T Associate of Science): 
In 2010, legislation mandated the development of CCC degrees that guaranteed transfer to the California State University system. As
a consequence, a system for the CCC development and the CSU acceptance of ADTs (AA-Ts and AS-Ts) was developed. These degrees are intended to simplify transfer to the CSU, ensure courses taken at the CCC are honored at the CSU, and minimize unit accumulation. (

Disaggregated Data
Disaggregating data means breaking down information into smaller subpopulations. For instance, breaking data down into grade level within school-aged students, country of origin within racial/ethnic categories, or gender among student populations are all ways of disaggregating data. Disaggregating student data into subpopulations can help schools and communities plan appropriate programs, decide which evidence-based interventions to select, use resources where they are needed most, and see important trends in achievement.

A cohort is a group of students with at least one statistical factor in common for data collection, analysis, and big-picture decision-making about pathways development. Examples of cohorts include cohorts defined in the Student Success Scorecard, all the students grouped in a meta-major, or students within a particular program (i.e. the entering class of a nursing program or Puente).

Early Alert: 
Early alert is a strategy for communicating with students when barriers or success issues become apparent. Early alerts sometimes involve the use of technology so that instructors, counselors, and staff can tailor an alert (communication) or customized message regarding the needs and resources available. Several software programs provide this tool (e.g. SARS, Starfish, and Banner).

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): 
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a set of metrics designed to measure institutional success in student progress through milestones and are specifically used to monitor the effects of institutional initiatives. Guided Pathways KPI’s for the AACC Pathways Project specifically include only FTEIC (First Time EVER in College Students excluding dual enrolled and summer school students). More information is available at the AACC website:

A meta-major is a collection of academic programs that lead to related occupations or have similar learning objectives, outcomes, content and/or resources. Programs within a meta-major will share some requirements which allow for early exploration as students may enroll in this broad field of interest without collecting excess units. Many colleges have chosen to use local terms instead of meta-majors, such as Areas of Interest, Focus Areas, Career and Learning Pathways. A meta-major is not a major: It is simply an organizing tool. Students will still need to declare a specific major to qualify for financial aid.

Milestones/Mile Posts: 
Milestones or Mile Posts represent measurable educational achievements, such as completing a college-level math course or the number of average units to complete a degree. Milestones often provide places where students may receive positive acknowledgment of their accomplishments or “nudges” to help them back on their stated educational pathway.

Multiple Measures Assessment Project (MMAP): 
The Multiple Measures Assessment Project is an effort led by Cal-PASS Plus and the RP Group, with support from the CCCCO, to build a data warehouse, analytic tools, and a communications strategy to support California community colleges in implementing a process for placing students into college-level or developmental coursework based on multiple measures of assessment.

Pathway/Program Map/Road Map: 
A pathway (also referred to as a program map or road map) is a descriptive and easy-to-use plan detailing the route a student takes to connect with, enter, progress through, and complete his/her program of study as well as the skills he/she needs to enter the labor market or transition to a baccalaureate program. Pathways include a semester-to-semester sequence of courses required to complete a credential efficiently. Pathways may include specific milestones for licensure or stackable credentials and general education recommendations. Across the state, colleges are taking differing approaches for the inclusion of GE courses in the program maps, ranging from specifically identifying each GE course to allowing “Any course in Area x.” 

The term onboarding may refer to many aspects of guided pathways design depending on the context. Onboarding within the context of student services can refer to processes and services intended to support a student’s enrollment in the college and/or the information provided to help students determine a meta-major or general career path. Within an academic context, onboarding may refer to the processes used to
determine college-readiness, and support curriculum and learning assistance services for students in order that they enter a program or pathways at the level where they will be most successful. Onboarding might include offering corequisite support courses that align math and other foundational skills with a student’s program and contextualized credit or noncredit curriculum. 

Student Educational Plan (SEP): 
The Student Educational Plan is a term-by-term individualized plan of courses a student should take based on his/her placement levels, full-time/part-time status, summer term plans, and pathway selection. The SEP should guide students through registration. SEPs come in two forms, the aSEP or abbreviated educational plan, which typically represents the first semester or year of coursework, and the cSEP or
comprehensive educational plan which maps a pathway to the degree.

Vision for Student Success CCCCO: 
The California Community Colleges Vision for Success is a document developed in 2017 by the Chancellor’s Office and approved by the Board of Governors. This document lays out several goals for the system for the next decade.
A summary of the goals of the Vision is included below. By 2022 the CCC system will

  • Increase by at least 20 percent the number of CCC students annually who acquire associates degrees, credentials, certificates, or specific skill sets that prepare them for an in-demand job.
  • Increase by 35 percent the number of CCC students transferring annually to a UC or CSU.
  • Decrease the average number of units accumulated by CCC students earning associate’s degrees, from approximately 87 total units (the most recent system-wide average) to 79 total units—the average among the quintile of colleges showing the strongest performance on this measure.
  • Increase the percent of existing CTE students who report being employed in their field of study, from the most recent statewide average of 60 percent to an improved rate of 69 percent—the average among the quintile of colleges showing the strongest performance on this measure.
  • Reduce equity gaps across all of the above measures through faster improvements among traditionally underrepresented student groups, with the goal of cutting achievement gaps by 40 percent within 5 years and fully closing those achievement gaps within 10 years.
  • Reduce regional achievement gaps across all of the above measures through faster improvements among colleges located in regions with the lowest educational attainment of adults, with the ultimate goal of fully closing regional achievement gaps within 10 years.

The full document can be viewed here: