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CAMPUS NEWS Part 2: College Funding STORY LEVI MONDOZA PAVING THE PATHWAYS new education reform adopted by Santa Ana College will direct students towards academic skills pro- grams with a map in hand. The Guided Pathways develops program maps that lead students towards de- grees, certificates, and future careers. SAC is the only community college in Orange County implementing the pathways initiative. Faculty and admin- istrators are drafting plans to ensure students make steps towards graduation and ca- reer goals. By simplifying class and program choices, the plan is to close achievement gaps. “We are asking SAC to be very clear and honest about its data, determine which students are not succeeding at the same rates as others, and to ask direct questions about why that’s happening,” said California Communi- ty College Chancellor Eloy Oakley. Over half of all SAC stu- dents come from Hispanic or Asian backgrounds, and about three-quarters of all students enroll part-time, according to Data USA. In 2017 nearly half of all students planning to transfer to a four-year college, only A 4 completed nine units or less, according to the 2018 SAC factbook. At this rate, half of all enrolled will take at least six semesters to graduate or transfer. The adoption of Guided Pathways is a critical element of accelerating progress by using program mapping to keep students on a plan that includes at least 12 units per term. Faculty coordinator Dr. Fer- nando Ortiz, a committee of five faculty design teams, are redrafting major programs, reorganizing departments, and presenting them in a student-friendly layout that helps make class choices more clear. Students can choose from seven program categories described by career objec- tives, rather than majors. Ortiz refers to them as “Career and Academic Pathways.” Described in each group are programs of study suggested for various careers by indus- try professionals and faculty. “The idea of creating a grouping of programs is to help students make informed decisions about their pre- ferred major,” Ortiz said. In response to the new reform, every academic department is responsible for drafting program maps. They are designed to include criti- el Don Santa Ana College · December 2018 cal courses, complementary elective suggestions, and meet a two-year time frame for degree completion. With the current system, students often rely on them- selves as academic advisors. “You go to your counselor, and yeah they’re guiding you, but sometimes it doesn’t sink in. They’ll give you the infor- mation, but you need to go out of your way to research it too”, Jennifer Jimenez, a sec- ond-year Speech-Language Pathology Assistant student, said. As a result, about one in five students say that SAC is not supportive of their personal development according to the 2018 SAC fact sheet, and only 47 percent of transfer students persisted from their first term to their second term last year, compared to the state average at about 68 percent. “We know that our students, and community college stu- dents throughout California, are not succeeding at rates that are acceptable,” Ortiz said. By using Guided Pathways SAC officials aim to keep students in school and help them graduate and transfer, by requiring appointments with counselors, tracking milestones, and meeting required deadlines. Schools are asked to focus on improving student success and enacting changes on campuses. 2018 SAC faculty and staff convene to design and shape guided pathways 2019 Guided pathways roll- out begins for students in fall semester 2022 State implements new student-success- centered funding model