Community College Pathways (CCP) focuses on creating intentional and meaningful pathways for community college students that lead to enrollment at four-year colleges and universities to complete their bachelor’s degrees. The early formation of these pathways eliminates the uncertainties that often accompany the transfer process.
CCP is designed to produce sustainable systemic change at participating institutions. We work closely with each campus community to build operational infrastructure and establish a culture that encourages and supports the transition and ultimate success of CCP students.
Following the facilitated design and implementation phases, the intent is that the program will be maintained by the partner institutions without the need for ongoing third-party involvement.
CCP is committed to the concept that every community college graduate transferring to a four-year college should be “Junior-Year Ready” to take full advantage of all the learning opportunities available there. CCP creates a comprehensive, well-defined pathway – one developed with each student by members of both the community college and four-year college communities. Each pathway has an identified set of support resources (people and tools) and established benchmarks at which progress is assessed.
Built on the principles of early identification, early involvement, and early commitment, CCP addresses the following areas:
Ensuring Academic Preparation
“Junior-Year Ready” means that pathways are constructed to ensure that each transferring student is academically prepared – in both subject matter and level of rigor – to complete their bachelor’s degree in a timely fashion. A central part of each CCP program design effort is active collaboration between and among the faculty at each participating institution. From the program’s start, CCP strives to resolve the “square-peg-round-hole” issues that often define transfer credit articulation. Throughout the process, careful attention is paid to the academic matters that are central to the integrity of the partnership.
CCP goes well beyond the traditional articulation agreements that now exist between four-year institutions and community colleges. CCP actively engages students, faculty, and staff in the design and implementation of pathways leading to degree completion – both associate’s and bachelor’s.
Supporting Personal Development
CCP seeks to make the transition from the community college to the four-year campus as seamless as possible. Along with making certain that CCP students are academically prepared to complete their four-year program in a timely fashion, efforts are focused to ensure that each CCP student has the personal confidence necessary to transition smoothly and thrive on their new campus. Each partnership is developed so that CCP students receive strong support from and develop relationships with faculty, staff, and other students at both campus communities.
Through the establishment of cohorts of CCP students (initially 4-6 students annually per community college), each participant is part of a peer support group. Through the use of social media, connections are also made with CCP cohorts at other community colleges. Peer mentors from the four-year colleges are assigned to CCP students during their time at their community colleges.
Optimizing Financial Investments
Community colleges are a cost-effective portal into a student’s higher education experience. Financial literacy and planning are important aspects of each student’s individual CCP plan. Early involvement of and commitment by four-year institutions provide students with a valuable planning tool. Students meet with institutional financial aid officers to discuss financial aid and financial planning. These efforts are supplemented by a partnership with an organization that has developed services and tools to increase and support college students’ financial literacy.
Colleges and universities benefit from additional revenues generated by new students and increased retention. Once in place, CCP enrollment pipelines provide an economical way to recruit future generations of students. Establishing these partnerships at this time eliminates the need for more extensive and expensive efforts in future years.