Funding, Grants & Awards

Washington Colleges Receive Guided Pathways Grants

College Spark Washington, an organization that funds programs to help low-income students prepare for college and earn degrees, and the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) have selected five colleges to receive Guided Pathways implementation grants.

Guided Pathways is an approach to supporting at-risk students through their college careers in an effort to increase completion rates. According to a study of the Guided Pathways approach conducted by the Community College Research Center at the Teachers College of Columbia University, most community colleges operate on a "cafeteria" model, which allows students to choose their own courses, programs and support services. "Students often have difficulty navigating these choices and end up making poor decisions about what program to enter, what courses to take, and when to seek help. Many drop out of college altogether," stated the report. The Guided Pathways approach is intended to address this problem by presenting courses "in the context of highly structured, educationally coherent program maps that align with students' goals for careers and further education."

Eighteen community and technical colleges in Washington state applied for the Guided Pathways implementation grants, and five were selected to receive the grants, which provide each college with $500,000 in funding over five years. "The selection criteria focused on identifying colleges that are in the best position to fully implement Guided Pathways," stated a news release.

The five colleges selected to receive Guided Pathways implementation grants include:

In the first year, the colleges will develop their Guided Pathways implementation plans. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges will support the colleges through technical assistance, quarterly meetings and opportunities to learn from other Guided Pathways colleges across the country and experts in the field of institutional change management. "All of Washington's community and technical colleges will be encouraged to attend a subset of these events," stated a news release.

College Spark Washington and the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges will selected another five colleges to receive Guided Pathways implementation grants in 2018.

Funding for the Guided Pathways implementation grants is provided by College Spark Washington.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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