Pillar Snapshot

Clark College's Guided Pathways work is nearly a decade in the making and spans across the entire college. In the past, the Guided Pathways Liaisons worked to change meta-major clusters into six Areas of Study (AOS), designed with first-time student in mind to improve usability and navigation of Clark's 100+ degrees and programs. Guided Pathways, then, began the program mapping journey via the previous steering committee and cross-discipline groups. They held cross-campus conversations about general elective courses that aligned and supported program specific outcomes with input from faculty, staff, advisory boards, and four-year transfer partners. This work continues. 

In the 2019-2020 academic year, Clark College joined seven other Community Colleges in the state to produce student-facing program maps for each degree or certificate offered.  Next, we're redefining the Guided Pathways four pillar framework structure and moving towards a GP Advisory Council that will oversee key objectives, embedded in the daily functions of the college.

Below you'll find a pillar snapshot of Clark College's Guided Pathways work to date, as organized by the four pillar structure:  

Pillar 1 | Clarifying the Path

2019-2020 Co-Leads: Brenda Walstead, Tasaday Turner


  • Developed Clark’s six meta-majors, known as areas of study (AOS)
  • Created Program Map Rubric
  • Supported two HS admissions recruiters
  • Organized four sources of career information and held work session in Career Services to sync information to new program maps
  • The overall development and review of student-facing program maps for Clark’s 100+ degree and certificate programs
  • Two batch updates of the program maps after go-live


  • Establish a GP recruitment strategy
  • Better connect careers to program maps and pathways
  • Work on GP web enhancements to clarify the pathway to student success
  • Create program map sub group or task force to review 1.0 version of the student-facing program maps and conduct a SWOT analysis to examine how to improve the map so they don’t just represent the coursework for college-ready students

Pillar 1 Statement

It is important for Clark College, as an institution, to continue to self-evaluate its processes for attracting and recruiting new students. New students need to see themselves earning degrees and certificates that are aligned with in-demand career fields that reflect employment trends in our region.  The Guided Pathways model aims to clarify a student’s academic path by simplifying the goal by asking this question: what career do you see yourself in? By working to define the destination, the path forward becomes more clear and easier to navigate with tools like program maps with help from career services and Clark’s advising team.


Pillar 2 | Getting onto the Path

2019-2020 Co-Leads: Vanessa Watkins, Heidi Summers


  • Created enrollment navigator positions
  • Went from 5 to 2 pre-college math courses (74% of students use this math pathway)
  • Went to an English accelerated learning model – Eng 101 has self placement option
  • I-Best model of instruction in four areas of study
  • Development of a digital MyPlan to aid students in developing academic, career, and financial plans.
  • Mapped the student enrollment experience, work continues.
  • Created and implemented new student orientation, work continues as we stabilize ctcLink and change formatting due to COVID-19


  • Increased funding for orientation and collaborate with ODEI to ensure inclusion for all
  • Possible Area of Study (AOS) focus for orientation
  • Required Orientation (once ctcLink is stabilized)
  • Create an evaluation process for new enrollment navigators
  • Create an onboarding subgroup committee that reports to Entry Services

Pillar 2 Statement

Clark College aims to help students identify their academic path to success. Currently, Clark has been navigating through some technological changes with a new operating system and the need to go fully online due to COVID-19. In addition to technology challenges for staff and students alike, systemically non-dominant students can face additional barriers to student success as they work through Clark’s complex onboarding process. From placement tests to prerequisites, to financial aid to grants, to determining a degree or certificate, there are many impactful questions and processes a new student must master as they become a member of the penguin nation. Guided Pathways must continue to examine how students get on the path to academic success and work towards developing equitable outcomes for all students.



Pillar 3 | Staying on the Path

2019-2020 Co-Leads: John Maduta & Janice Taylor


  • Conducted a 2018 Student Experience Survey and received house & food insecurity data for students
  • Progression toward an implementation of case management and appreciative advising models
  • Access to professional, academic, and faculty advisors for students within PeopleSoft environment
  • Strong ODEI leadership and guidance across the campus
  • The creation of 40 academic advisement reports in PeopleSoft
  • Conducted a Fall 2019 Employee Climate Survey
  • Conduct a winter 2020 student experience survey
  • Held Pop-up Advising initiative on campus; plans are ongoing and expansion-driven
  • Career Services student-success workshop series
  • Defined Case Management description

Case Management description

Case Management A comprehensive process of identification, intake, and assessment of student goals and needs.  Advisors (professional, academic, and faculty) support students in the development of their career, financial, and educational plans using an Appreciative Advising approach.  Advisors work collaboratively to maintain detailed records to provide targeted outreach to students and referrals to resources that promote equitable outcomes in student academic performance, retention, and completion.  Advisors provide tools and advice to students to foster self-advocacy in managing academic, personal, and fiscal responsibilities, while also advocating for students individually and systemically.


  • Would like quarter-to-quarter and fall-to-fall student statistics on retention
  • Tracking in People Soft (3Cs)
  • Text capabilities to quickly interact with students who are in danger of getting off path
  • Develop a student services strategic plan including subplans/directives for enrollment, engagement, retention, and completion

Pillar 3 Statement

Student support and wrap around services can be the difference between non-completion and success. Pillar three was charged with examining the best practices to keeping students on the path to degree completion. A need for data was clearly established to examine the current barriers to students success, with a call to disaggregate data based on race to better align with the State’s call to lead with racial equity. Inescapable advising, student surveys, and further optimization of ctcLink (PeopleSoft) to better interact with students that show indicators of stress (dropped classes, taking unneeded credits or unrelated credits, class withdrawals, faculty alerts, etc) are at the top of the list for pillar three recommendations to move guided pathways work forward. 


Pillar 4 | Ensuring Learning on the Path (Outcomes Assessment)

2019-2020 Lead: Dr. Rosalie Roberts


  • First-ever annual symposium including an assessment award and interdisciplinary, collaborative, workshop-style trainings
  • Developed a training to inform professional technical faculty about shared vocabulary regarding Power, Privilege, and Inequity concepts and support equity in curriculum at Clark College
  • Revised the assessment model to emphasize meaningful inquiries and long-term improvements
  • Supported the development of the program viability process


  • Improve communication, technology, and reporting of outcomes assessment processes, purposes, and people for transparency and clarity 

Pillar 4 Statement

Pillar 4 is charged with ensuring that students are learning. This work requires Clark faculty to clearly define and examine program outcomes with alignment to employer and/or transfer institution expectations, equity in student success, and effective instructional practices.