Pathways Project Overview

In Fall 2017, Coconino Community College began implementing the concepts developed by the Community College Research Center (CCRC) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). According to a document titled, “What is the ‘Pathways Model?’” published on AACC’s website,


The Pathways Model is an integrated, institution-wide approach to student success based on intentionally designed, clear, coherent and structured educational experiences, informed by available evidence, that guide each student effectively and efficiently from her/his point of entry through to attainment of high-quality post-secondary credentials and careers with value in the labor market.


Central to the pathways model are clear, educationally coherent program maps— which include specific course sequences, progress milestones, and program learning outcomes—that are aligned to what will be expected of students upon program completion in the workforce and in education at the next level in a given field. Students are helped from the start to explore academic and career options, choose a program of study, and develop a plan based on the program maps. These plans simplify student decision-making, and they enable colleges to provide predictable schedules, frequent feedback, and targeted support as needed to help students stay on track and complete their programs more efficiently. They also facilitate efforts by faculty to ensure that students are building the skills across their programs that they will need to succeed in employment and further education (AACC, 2018).


There are three essential components of the Pathways efforts at CCC:

1. Structured Pathway – This refers to a sequence of courses, important milestones (such as meeting with an advisor, participating in an internship, or preparing a resume or transfer application), and defined program outcomes for a degree or certificate. Once a student has selected a degree or certificate, the defined pathway guides her/him to a timely completion. A sample structured pathway for Computer Information Systems is attached along with a reverse transfer map from Administration of Justice.


2. Choice Architecture – In order to embark on a structured pathway, a student has to make a series of choices about their area of interest, what they will study within that area of interest, and what they will eventually do with their credential (career and/or additional schooling). Some students arrive with clear answers to all of these questions, while others are still in the process of choosing. A choice architecture directs students’ attention to the next important choice they need to make and gives them the tools needed to make an informed choice as outlined in the table below.


Current StateNext ChoiceAssistance Provided
“Don’t know why I am in college” Choose an area of interest Personal inventory, including personality and career exploration
“Know generally what I am interested in but not sure what I want to do” Choose a destination – direct to work or transfer for additional education Career counseling
“Know what I want to do but not sure exactly what to study” Choose a program of study Academic advising
“Know exactly what to study but not sure where to go after graduation” Choose a career or transfer destination Career counseling and transfer advising
“Know exactly what to study and where I am going once I finish” Enroll continuously Retention


3. Area of Interest – A grouping of similar structured pathways. If a student has identified an area of interest but has not yet selected a structured pathway, s/he will be directed to begin by taking a set of courses that will apply broadly to the pathways within that area of interest. Eight areas of interest have been defined at CCC:  Art & Humanities; Engineering, Math & Science; Business & Hospitality; Computer & Visual Technology; Education & Social Sciences; Health; Public Safety; and Skilled Trades


Timeline for CCC Pathways Implementation

There are four pillars of pathways developed by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Achieving the Dream (ATD), and others.  CCC is using these four pillars to track ongoing projects and timelines.  The four pillars are:  

  1. Mapping Pathways to Student End Goals 
    1. Mapping all programs to transfer and career end goals and include:  Detailed information on career and transfer outcomes; Course sequences, critical courses, embedded credentials, and milestones; Math and other core coursework is aligned.
  2. Helping Students Choose and Enter a Pathway
    1. Requires supports to make sure students get the best start by:  Using multiple measures to assess students' needs; Having a First Year Experience (FYE) to explore and choose a major; Integrated academic supports to pass critical courses; K-12 partnerships.
  3. Keeping Students on the Path
    1. These types of supports keep students on track:  Intrusive advising; Systems for students to track their progress; Identifying at-risk students and providing the correct supports; A way to redirect students in a program to another path.
  4. Ensuring Students are Learning
    1. Using practices to assess and provide quality student learning:  Program-specific outcomes; Service-learning or project-based projects; Increased student engagement; Faculty-led improvement of teaching practices; Tracking mastery of learning outcomes.



Projects PlannedNext Steps/NeedsResponsible PartiesImplementation Date

1) Reverse Maps need to be completed for transfer degrees.

a) Using the AZTransfer ASSIST information, we will reverse map the top 20 BA completed degrees*

b)  Create an intranet page for faculty/advisors use with reverse maps

c)  Review all courses for articulation

d)  Curriculum Committee needs to discuss whether to have discreet transfer degrees or a general transfer degree.

Helena and Van December 2019

2)  Maps need to be created for: 

  • Health Services
  • Business & Hospitality – Hospitality

a) A summer meeting will occur to work through the mapping exercise for Health Services and Hospitality

  August 2019

3) Maps need to be completed

a) Over the summer into early fall, the workgroup will reach out to the areas with incomplete maps to get milestones and Gen Ed recommendations:

  • Business & Accounting
  • Construction Management

b)  Create PDFs for maps to be uploaded to Pathways website and for student/advising use

c) Create charts for development English and Math choices per degree


4)  Begun process of narrowing the “cafeteria” courses

a)  A review of courses that do not align with a pathway will occur

b)  General Education will be reviewing the “cafeteria” courses to determine if it can be narrowed.

Dr. Southerland, Colleen, General Education Committee, Curriculum Committee


5)  Maps need to be created for high school to college

a)  Current pathways for high school pathways will be reviewed against the created college maps

b) Align DE courses to current catalog

c) Schedule a discussion with Dr. Southerland in regards to role of DE/CAVIAT

d)  Create website dedicated to pathways for HS2CCC

Brian  Sept 2019    

6)  The two-year master course schedule will be reviewed against the suggested pathways to determine if courses are being offered efficiently

a)  Create a final map of the pathway courses and when and where they occur in each pathway. Summer  December 2019

7)  Complete a website for Pathways information and create communication plan

a) Continue to work on external website for pathways and degree makeovers

b)  Work on project status webpage

c)  Create plan for ongoing communication about Pathways and the project

Van August 2019

If interested, view " Pathways Tracking ," a detailed report on the status of CCC's pathways maps.



  1. Meta-Majors were developed and vetted throughout the college.  There are eight:  Business & Hospitality; Computer & Visual Technology; Engineering, Math & Sciences; Public Safety; Arts & Humanities; Education & Social Sciences; and Construction Trades.
  2. Complete maps (with courses, sequences, pre-req, milestones, Gen Ed recommendations) have been completed for: 
    1. Computer & Visual Technology
    2. Public Safety
  3. Partial maps have been completed for: 
    1. Business & Hospitality – Business and Accounting
    2. Construction Trades



Projects PlannedNext Steps/NeedsResponsible PartiesImplementation Date

1)  Launch a CRM (Customer Relations Management) tool to help reach out to students applying to the college

a) Tasks are being completed outside of the Pathways Project

b)  Possible task – Review workflows to determine flow of information in regards to pathways

IR August 2019

2)  Review and recommend changes to the current advising model

a)  To be determined

Advising Committee  

3)  Research career exploration software

a)  To be determined

Advising Committee  

4)  Determining when best to engage faculty in the advising process

a)  To be determined

Advising Committee


5)  Implement a First Year Experience

a)  Tasks are being completed outside of the Pathways Project            

Juanita and workgroup, SEM Retention workgroup

6)  Placement methodology redesign

a)  Tasks are being completed outside of the Pathways Project

Dr. Southerland, Math faculty, English faculty  

7)  Reduce time in developmental coursework

a)  Tasks are being completed outside of the Pathways Project

Dr. Southerland, Math faculty, English faculty August 2019


  1. Offer information sessions for students entering Career & Technical pathways/degrees 
  2. Offer networking meetings students towards the end of their Career & Technical pathways/degrees
  3. Eliminated the “Undecided” degree
  4. Require all high school students to select a program of study



Projects PlannedNext Steps/NeedsResponsible PartiesImplementation Date

1)  Need to establish key performance indicators to determine whether a student is on the “path”

a)  Discussion in Pathways Steering Committee

Pathways Steering Committee Fall 2019

2) Maintaining the pathways process once implemented

a)  Discussion and determination in Pathways Steering Committee

Pathways Steering Committee Fall 2019

3)  Coordinating co-curricular events with courses/assessment

a)  Begin by mapping current co-curricular activities

Juanita/Derik Yellowhair Fall 2019

4)  Review of students services and how students learn about them

a)  Need to pinpoint the flow in which a student learns about services

Advising Committee



  1. Implemented DegreeWorks and audit
  2. Have advising milestone check points



Projects PlannedNext Steps/NeedsResponsible PartiesImplementation Date

1)  Vet and implement institutional learning outcomes

a)  Created in Assessment Committee, now needs to be vetted in the fall

Assessment Committee 2019-2020

2)  Gen Ed revising philosophy and program learning outcomes

a)  Research Gen Ed models, including assessment of, and prepare to share with Gen Ed Committee in fall

General Education Committee Fall 2019

3)  Review implementation of high impact practices throughout the college

a)  Conduct an in-depth review of syllabi from the last two years to determine current assessment practices

  Fall 2019

4)  Establish a system in which to collect, share, and review student artifacts

a)  Research and share practices of assessment systems with faculty in fall




  1. Program review process implemented and being monitored
  2. Course assessment reporting implemented


All projects and tasks are created by the Pathways Steering Committee and developed in the workgroup.  

Steering Committee and Workgroup Members

Steering Committee Members 


Helena Babiski*

Assistant Registrar and Curriculum Coordinator


Kimberly Batty-Herbert

Dean of Learning Services


Colleen Carscallen

Associate Dean for Curriculum & Assessment


Summer Dennis*

Academic Operations Coordinator


Brian Francis*

Director of Advising and Career Development


Kimmi Grulke

Registrar and Director of Enrollment Services


Lisa Hill

Financial Aid and Veteran Services Assistant Director


Jeff Jones

Dean of Learning Services


Kathryn Kozak

Full-Time Faculty - Math


Kay Leum

Executive Director of Extended Learning


Gonzalo Perez

Associate Provost


Katie Schwartz

Full-Time Faculty - Spanish


Nate Southerland



Juanita Tarango

Director of Student Success and Access


Sheila Tomjack

Executive Assistant to the Provost


Bob Voytek

Director of Financial Aid and Veteran Services


Van Walker*

Web Programmer


*Indicates the Pathways Steering Committee member is also part of the Pathways Workgroup.

Guidelines for Designing Pathway Maps

Process for Creating Pathway Maps

For Workforce Degrees:

  1. Compose a team of appropriate faculty, appropriate advisors, and other staff members as needed for the following tasks:
    1. Determine career pathways within area of interest (CCC2Work or CCC2University)
      • Refine career exploration/interest process for students to identify pathway.
    2. Create ideal semester by semester plans (Two-year, three-year, and developmental options)
      • Determine a common first semester (if possible),
      • Identify any gateway or problematic courses (courses that can determine the exact path through each area of interest or are potential bottlenecks for students),
      • Identify embedded certificates, 
      • And, identify courses that could be used as substitutions.  
    3.  Identify milestones/checkpoints for students along pathway.
    4. Align high school offerings to CCC pathways.
    5. Make General Education recommendations.  
    6. Review and enhance the communication plan (Marketing, web, intranet, students, faculty, staff).


Guidelines Used when Designing Pathway Maps

  1. Use the CCC Pathways template.
  2. English and Math are required in the first semester. 
  3. Complete the core requirements for the degree first. 
  4. Keep Physical & Biological Science course close to Mathematics course. 
  5. Sequence the Gen Ed courses to be completed in four to six terms, 6-9 hours a semester. 
  6. Fill in milestones for courses or actions that must be completed in that term. 


Essential Components of Pathway Maps

When the Academic Maps are completed, they should have six essential components:  basic course information, a sample schedule, milestones, internal notes/course substitutions, transfer-ability to major Arizona universities and suggestions for General Education courses (three per General Education Area Block). 

  1. Basic Course Information – Course number, Course Description, Credits, associated pre- and/or co-requisite(s), as well as the instructional methods (IM), locations, and semesters the course is offered.
  1. Sample Schedule – Outlines which courses should be completed in a specific term in order to satisfy all of the requirements.  A two-year plan for full-time students, a three-year plan for part-time students , and a plan for developmental students.
  1. Milestones – Identify gateway (critical) courses for timely progress, advising checkpoints, and other co-curricular or essential tasks that need to be completed that semester.
  1. Internal Notes/Course Substitutions - Internal notes can be used to indicate courses also in certificates or are Dual Enrollment/CAVIAT courses while course substitutions should indicate which courses in the degree/certificate that can be substituted with an indication of what types of substitutions will work, whether it be an industry certification or an internship.  
  2. Transfer-ability - This area indicates if and how the course transfers to the major Arizona universities.   If there is a direct equivalent, the course number will be listed.  
  3. General Education Recommendations - This is a list of at least three recommended courses in each General Education Area Block (Arts & Humanities, Physical & Biological Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences).  Students will still be able to select from the entire General Education list, but these suggestions should help indicate which courses will broaden their knowledge and skills needed for their chosen field.  


If interested, view the " Example Computer Technology-Network Administrator Map ," a completed CCC's pathways map with plans for two- and three-years and a plan for students who need developmental coursework.