California Guided Pathways Project

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Creating a pathway to success.

The California Guided Pathways Project is designed to substantially increase the number of students who earn a certificate or degree at a California community college through an integrated, institution-wide approach to student success and structured educational experiences that support each student from the point of entry to attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials and careers.

What are Guided Pathways?

Guided pathways reform is a student-centered approach that can dramatically increase the number of students earning community college credentials and simultaneously close equity gaps. Rather than work with a subset of students, guided pathways are a college-wide undertaking that provides a framework for integrating California-based initiatives such as SSSP, Equity, Basic Skills Transformation, the Strong Workforce Program, and California College Promise. The California Guided Pathways project was modeled from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Pathways Project and adapted for implementation in California to support colleges as they guide students in clarifying their paths to end goals, select and stay on that path, and ensure quality learning.

College Participation

Guided Pathways Startup

Through a competitive application process, 20 California Community Colleges were initially selected to participate in Guided Pathways in 2016. College teams participated in six two-day institutes, focused on key elements required to implement a fully-scaled pathway model which serves all students at a community college, plus received support on the change process from expert coaches.

California Guided Pathways Project 2.0

In 2020, the Foundation was granted funding to support a new phase of the Guided Pathway project, called California Guided Pathway Project 2.0. In partnership with the National Center for Inquiry & Improvement (NCII), this new phase aims to solidify institutional commitment to the guided pathways framework by supporting continued development of guided pathways at currently participating colleges, and increasing the number of colleges demonstrating scaled implementation.

Over the next two years, California Guided Pathway Project 2.0 will host institutes, site visits, virtual consultancies, office hours, and webinars to support two cohorts of participating colleges. The first cohort will consist of the participant colleges of the original Guided Pathways project, while cohort two will be made up of 21 new participant colleges. Both cohorts will focus on new thinking and approaches to implementing guided pathways design, with an emphasis on promoting equity, developing a sense of community on college campuses, and supporting student financial stability and workforce experiences.

Project Partners 

The project is led by a broad base of stakeholders and funded through generous support by College Futures Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, and the Teagle Foundation, in addition to fees paid by participating colleges.


California Community Colleges Launches New Student-Centered Support for Guided Pathways Implementation
December 6, 2021
In partnership this month, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges will launch activities to help colleges strategically center adult learners of color in guided pathways, an equity-focused framework that forges clearer paths for students and removes systemic obstacles to their success.
Read press release >

California Community Colleges Launches Second Phase of Guided Pathways Project
November 18, 2020
 the California Community Colleges, in partnership with the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FoundationCCC), announced the launch of “Guided Pathways 2.0,” a project that aims to further accelerate implementation of the California Guided Pathways model and increase the number of students who earn a certificate or degree.
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Support from College Futures and Teagle Foundation launch California Guided Pathways Project
December 7, 2016 
A broad-based group of community college leaders coordinated by the Foundation for California Community Colleges announced the launch of the California Guided Pathways project, a venture designed to substantially increase the number of students who earn a certificate or degree at a California Community College.
Read press release >
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Community college leaders launch Guided Pathways project
December 8, 2016
Officials say The California Guided Pathways project will help up to 20 community colleges including Bakersfield College design and implement structured academic and career pathways for all students.
News article >

Education Roundup: Program to boost community college transfers, grad rates
December 7, 2016
A statewide community college program championed by Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian that would streamline the transfer process and boost graduation rates launched Wednesday, officials announced.
News article >

Contact Us

Dr. Rob Johnstone
Project Lead
T: 650.740.1796

Sandra Fried
Vice President, Student Success Center
T: 916.491.4475

Foundation for California
Community Colleges

1102 Q Street, Suite 4800
Sacramento, CA 95811

Toll Free: 866.325.3222
Fax: 916.325.0844

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Supporting our Work

Help the Foundation further its mission to benefit, support, and enhance the California Community Colleges.

The Foundation for California Community Colleges is a 501(c)(3) organization (EIN 68-0412350).

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Who we serve

The Foundation serves as the official foundation supporting the Board of Governors, Chancellor’s Office, and the entire California Community College system, including 116 colleges and 73 districts, serving nearly 2 million students.

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