Guided Pathways initiative to assist students pursue majors

By Gustavo Buenrostro

The Guided Pathways initiative was the topic of discussion in the open forum on Thursday in the G1 building.

Guided Pathways is a framework for students to work under so that they can have a more                                                                  focused path to their major, according to the presentation provided by Academic Senate President Jeffrey Hernandez.

“It’s finally here and we have the resources. We need to begin to see how we are going to make it work,” said East Los Angeles College President Marvin Martinez

The presentation also included statistics on ELAC’s enrollment pattern and student transfer rate.

The school tracked students’ progress in a five-year span.

For every 100 students who entered in Fall 2012, 53 came back the following year.

About 31 of those students completed UC/CSU units.

Twenty of the 100 students completed both transfer-level English and math, and 17 of those 100 students got certificates.

The statistics are lower for Latino students. Hernandez said that these statistics are not unusual for community colleges.

All this research was done by ELAC, according to associate dean of research and learning                                      assistance Bryan Ventura.

Ventura said that this research doesn’t take part-time students into account,but the research is still concerning.

“There is a disconnection between what students want and what the outcome is,” said Vice President Armida Ornelas.

She said that students feel lost in a maze and that finding a major is difficult.

Hernandez said that Guided Pathways will help with new state mandates.

The California state budget has provided Guided Pathways $150 million.

He also said that the state will provide a budget template for Guided Pathways, along with a template for the Multi-work plan to the California Community             College Chancellor’s Office.

He said the money provided by the state will be used for the implementation of                                             Guided Pathways and                                                        not for its services.

The money provided by the state has already been distributed, and ELAC knows how much money they have for Guided Pathways said  Martinez.

One concern raised in an open discussion was whether or                         not this would replace education plans provided by counselors.

Hernandez said that it doesn’t and that they are separate from each other.

“The (education) plan is still the (education) plan,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez said that Guided Pathways is different in every college.

A concern raised by the faculty, however, was if a student uses guided pathways at ELAC but transferred.

Hernandez said the school will collaborate with other                                   schools on the district level on how to use guided pathways so that the situation doesn’t happen.

Hernandez said that schools will coordinate and organize with each other on Guided Pathways.

Because Guided Pathways is still in its first year of implementation, the school hasn’t figured                                    out what the initiative will be.

Counselor Emma Tiscareno said that when students come in they don’t really know what they want to do as a career.

“(Students) don’t want to be pushed into a career. There is a difference between a superficial program and an intense way of finding out what they want to do,” Tiscareno said.

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