Guided Pathways Could Offer Clearer Roadmaps for DCC Students

Dec. 16, 2021--With the goals of streamlining a student’s journey through college, the DCC “home team” leading the Guided Pathways (GP) movement is hoping that its efforts to provide clear options and support will help more students achieve their college completion ambitions. And thanks to their endeavors, GP at DCC is gaining ground.  

Adopted by SUNY as an integrated, system-wide approach to student success, Guided Pathways is focused on building capacity for community colleges to design and implement structured academic and career pathways for all students. The approach is based on research from the Community College Research Center (CCRC) and the national Pathways Project led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

DCC is part of SUNY's second cohort of participating campuses and formed its GP home team in 2019. Members are drawn from all walks of campus life and include:

-       Thomas Costello, chair of the Performing Arts Program and associate professor of theatre & speech

-        David Freeman, chair of the Architectural Technology and Construction Technology programs and assistant professor of architecture

-        Maria Boada, dean of academic affairs

-        Ellen Gambino, provost and Guided Pathways DCC executive lead

-        Gail Glover, director of marketing and communication (Ex Officio/Ad Hoc)

-        Jackie Goffe-McNish, professor of English and chief diversity officer

-        Laraine Kautz, workforce development liaison

-        Joan McFadden, chair of the Business, Aviation and Construction Professions Department and associate professor 

-        Rachel Mead, director of ACT

-        Angela Rios, associate dean of academic affairs

-        Mike Roe, associate dean of enrollment 

-        Susan Rogers, associate dean of academic affairs and GP facilitator

-        Angela Romano, registrar

-        Scott Schnackenberg, director of institutional research (Ex Officio/Ad hoc)

-        Colleen Trogisch, dean of students

In a recent expansion of the home team, two faculty co-chairs, Jennifer Yanoti, assistant professor of English, and Carla DelTreste-Jutt, associate professor of mathematics, were appointed to work with GP Facilitator Susan Rogers. 

Since the spring semester, the GP Home Team efforts have focused on refreshing program webpages to feature designs that include user-friendly career information, earnings and wage potential material, and transfer guidance. Prototype web pages were built and, after faculty approval, were made “live.” Examples include program pages for hospitality and tourism, aviation maintenance technician, architectural technology, electrical technology, and public health. 

This semester, the home team split their efforts on three related projects focusing on student onboarding. Three sub-teams tackled the following areas:

- Accessing the student voice: The team, led by Chief Diversity Officer Jackie Goffe-McNish, facilitated several student focus group opportunities. Drawing input from a broad range of students, the team’s exploration focused on the student onboarding process and first-year attendance. A results report, currently in its final stages of preparation, will be shared with the home team in January.

- First-year seminar development: A group of faculty and staff, led by Dean Maria Boada, was charged with exploring best practices for developing a first-year seminar. Over the semester, the group reviewed seminar syllabi and documents, and held conversations with instructors currently teaching freshman seminars.

- Onboarding learning outcomes: A third team, led by Interim Director of Advising Services Rachel Mead, met to develop proposed learning outcomes for the onboarding process. Over the fall semester, they created a draft document that outlined the knowledge or skills that students should acquire during their first semester/year at DCC. The GP Home Team provided feedback on the draft, which was then shared with the Program Chairs Council during a workshop. It was followed by a discussion facilitated by guest speaker Melinda Karp, founder and principal of Phase Two Advisory, who SUNY has retained to support Guided Pathways work on college campuses. 

All three projects are expected to continue into the spring.

Looking ahead, the home team will be hosting a series of Guided Pathways workshops and events on Jan. 10 as part of DCC’s 2022 spring convocation and opening week activities. The GP “mini-institute” will provide faculty and staff with an opportunity to find out more about Guided Pathways and to explore the “nuts and bolts” of moving forward. 

Questions about Guided Pathways? Contact the GP Home Team co-chairs & facilitator at