How Do I Help Our Colleges Implement Guided Pathways?

At a Glance

JFF provides guidance, services, and support to SSC staff to support Centers’ work with colleges to implement guided pathways. We work closely with Centers and their colleges to assess their needs, and then facilitate customized technical assistance, training, and cross-Center learning.

Published jan. 01, 2000

Making the Case

The Guided Pathways framework can be found here. For more information and video resources on the revised (Sept. 2019) Pillar 4: Ensuring Students are Learning, click here.

JFF and national providers, such as the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement (NCII), help Centers and colleges build momentum for guided pathways efforts. Initial work with colleges typically focuses on case-making with key stakeholders. Some institutions are expanding their focus to include meta-majors and program mapping, and JFF is introducing services in these areas.

Strategic Finance


JFF and the Community College Research Center (CCRC), a national provider, help Centers and colleges use the Guided Pathways Scale of Adoption self-assessment, which CCRC developed. JFF and CCRC conduct workshops for Centers that explain the assessment in detail. Then Centers support colleges as they complete the assessment and use the results to plan next steps.

Scale of Adoption self-assessment resources:

Center resources on the Scale of Adoption:

  • Keeping Colleges on the Path: A Look at Michigan's Guided Pathways Progress from 2017-2019 - report (Sept. 2019)
  • Guided Pathways: The Scale of Adoption in Michigan - report (Jan. 2018)

Holistic Supports

JFF is partnering with Achieving the Dream to assist Student Success Centers as they support their states’ colleges in redesigning advising and student supports through an integrated and holistic approach to helping students through guided pathways. Achieving the Dream provides a range of tools and services focused on making the case and building awareness for redesigning advising and student supports, as well as facilitating the structural, process, and behavioral changes needed to improve student success.

Student Financial Stability

Student Financial Stability Toolkits

Working Student Success Network

Policy Briefs

Data and Indicators


  • Supporting Student Financial Stability slides - NCII presentation with Michigan
  • MI Bridges portal - slides from presentation at MI Institute
  • Agenda from MI Student Financial Stability Institute
  • Webinar recap from MI Student Financial Stability Institute

JFF's May 2018 Student Financial Stability Summit Materials


The SSCN Coaching Toolbox can be found here.

JFF launched the SSCN Guided Pathways Coaching Program in the summer of 2018, building on the work we started in 2017 with the Community College Research Initiatives (CCRI) at the University of Washington through the Assessment, Research, and Coaching Pilot Projects.

The two components of the SSCN Coaching Program are:

1. SSCN Coaching Grants: Centers who were selected through an application process received coaching grants to support their execution of strategic, evidence-based guided pathways coaching implementation programs in their states. For a cohort of the grantees, CCRI is providing research-based consultation to assist Centers in their design and delivery of evidence-based coaching for change.

CCRI Resources:

  1. Lessons Learned from SSCN Coaching Pilot (see also JFF's blog on coaching)
  2. Pilot Coaching Profiles: New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon

2. SSCN Coaching Training: Center EDs selected individuals from their states to be trained as coaches and deployed by Centers to colleges. The curriculum for the training is designed in partnership with Achieving the Dream and the Pathways Collaborative.

Resources for SSC staff and coaches:

  1. Training syllabus
  2. Training Kick-off Webinar slides (Sept. 2018)
  3. In-person Training Event agenda
  4. Training Check-in Webinar slides (Dec. 2018)

Underprepared Students

JFF is partnering with Carnegie Math Pathways at WestEd and The Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin to help SSCs and their colleges support their underprepared students. Both organizations work across several states and institutions to support the effective implementation of mathematics pathways that allow all students to take math courses aligned with their program of study and earn college-level math credit in their first year.

Change Management

JFF is partnering with the Aspen Institute to help Student Success Centers develop transformational leaders in their states. The transformational change required of community colleges to effectively implement institution-wide change such as guided pathways reforms requires leaders—at every level of community college stakeholders, but especially in the CEO role—who have a deep commitment to and understanding of change leadership. The Centers are uniquely poised to help develop this vital leadership capacity across states.

Resources developed by The Aspen Institute

  • Workshop Video Recording and Slides from SSCN Meeting Jan. 2018
  • Slides from workshop on external partnerships
  • Slides from workshop for trustees on board's role in supporting guided pathways
  • Slides from training for presidential search and hiring committee
  • Slides from workshop on Leading for Equity