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Guided Pathways

Greetings Colleagues,

The College Leadership Council recently held their first meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to “kick off” our work around championing the College’s four strategic priorities for the year (paraphrased below).

1.1 Increase student success, retention and completion

1.1.2 – Close education attainment gaps for targeted student populations

2.3 – Align occupational programs, courses, and skills with current workforce needs

3.2 – Leverage efforts around sustainability to achieve top-level distinction among community colleges

Embedded in our student success priorities is the notion that we can do a better job to show students a clear and concise pathway to transfer, completion and/or career placement. It is also important to note that all national models around the pathway construct identify enhancing the learning experience as a foundational principle. Our work to implement Guided Pathways through the “Puma Pathway” will be strongly grounded in our core as a learning-centered college.

Please take a look at a recent monograph from the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement entitled Guided Pathways Demystified . You can download the paper at

As we move to implement Guided Pathways at PVCC, I encourage you to continue to follow the progress of the Maricopa Transformation work at the system level.



Human Love

I have been trying all week to focus “What’s on my Mind?” towards an academic imperative – mainly our work and an update on Guided Pathways or one of the college’s strategic priorities. But I just could not find the mental traction to do so. Instead, as I am sure many of you, I can’t seem to get the most recent life tragedy – the massacre in Las Vegas – out of my mind, heart and soul. This human-driven event coupled with the recent natural disasters in Texas, Florida, Mexico City, and Puerto Rico have caused me to stop, pause and think more deeply about loss, grief, sadness, unfairness and the fragility of life. Crashing in on these quiet reflections have been the loud chatter on all forms of media about the appropriate human and cultural reaction or response to such calamities.

Because our work around the power of learning is so oriented in human relationships and a culture of social engagement, please consider taking time this week to go deeper in connecting with our students and with each other. Many years ago, one of my first mentors shared with me that the core of being successful in higher education is that “…you must love students…” and he emphasized the notion of human love. Perhaps this is the only “appropriate” human response to the events of the last several months.

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