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Newsletter Article March 18, 2022

AAC&U Publishes Web-Based Tool For Campuses Engaged in Guided Pathways

man writing in a notebookThe American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has developed an online tool to help campuses engaged in the guided pathways model of student success. The Teaching-Learning-Assessment (TLA) Framework centers student success and equity and recommends measurable steps that faculty, staff and institutional leaders can take to address persisting gaps in student learning outcomes.

This resource, supported by Ascendium and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, guides campuses through an intentional, five-phase process to examine, implement and enhance teaching, learning and assessment practices that support higher levels of student learning. Each phase includes resources, such as guiding questions, campus spotlights, team activities and videos to help prepare campuses for replicating the framework.

The recommendations and guidance offered by the framework are based on the implementation of guided pathways at 20 participating community colleges representing 150,000 students. A report of findings from that initiative, Paths to Success: How Community Colleges Are Strengthening Guided Pathways to Ensure Students Are Learning, was released late last year. Though community colleges piloted the original project, the TLA Framework can be used by any postsecondary institution, allowing them to learn from other guided pathways institutions.

“This new resource from AAC&U underscores the importance of assessing learning as part of guided pathways implementation,” says Sue Cui, a senior program officer for Ascendium’s Remove Structural Barriers to Success focus area. “We look forward to learning more about how this resource is used by colleges to improve completion and learner experiences, especially those from low-income backgrounds.”

Guided pathways reforms aim to improve outcomes by redesigning programs and providing students with clearer pathways to credentials that lead to good-paying jobs. Ascendium supports guided pathways initiatives, including this resource, because we prioritize investing in the widespread adoption of evidence-based institutional and system policies and practices that drive equitable student outcomes.

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