Finding a Better Way
LCCC IS UPGRADING, THANKS TO GUIDED PATHWAYS
Simply put, big things are happening at Laramie County Community College. Game changing.
Over the coming months, prospective students and the community will be introduced to Pathways at LCCC. It’s a complete evolution of the education students will receive. It’s changing the campus culture top to bottom.
And it’s all about students.
This fall’s incoming class of LCCC freshmen will experience a Pathways education, an upgrade that makes going to college more user-friendly and easier to navigate. The goals and milestones are clearly mapped out but still have flexibility for a student to explore. The education and experiences are focused on preparing students with the skills to help them compete for careers regardless of their field.
Pathways at LCCC provides a clear path, with strong support and guidance early on, and increasing independence as a student’s confidence, intellect, and abilities develop. When students leave LCCC, they truly will be some of the most sought-after.
-Dr. Joe Schaffer, LCCC President
Over the past three years, LCCC faculty and staff have spent much time and effort redesigning the college experience to focus on the optimal way to provide students the best opportunities for their future. While in some ways that was always the intention of the college, perhaps the processes weren’t clear or created unnecessary barriers for the students and could be improved.
This work was fueled when LCCC was selected as one of only 13 colleges across the nation accepted into the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Guided Pathways 2.0 project in 2017. AACC refers to the model as “an integrated institution-wide approach to student success based on intentionally designed, clear, coherent, and structured educational experiences.”
Changing a culture requires vision, commitment, collaboration, and coordination from all stakeholders. LCCC has been doing just that! They have been intentional about working together to understand and redesign the student experience. LCCC is a shining star.
-Dr. Linda Garcia, Executive Director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement
To start, LCCC is helping students define career goals that are best suited for them early in the college-prospect process. In fact, before even applying, potential students are strongly encouraged to take the Career Coach assessment on the LCCC website to discover career possibilities, showing how LCCC Pathways can help them get where they want to be. Attention to these goals will take place in multiple conversations with faculty and Student Services team members throughout their journey. This emphasis gives students the vision to clearly understand their path and to see how their completion at LCCC will have them ready for a career or prepared to transfer to a four-year school.
The end goal is their career. Pathways is a great lens for them to see their education, that they’re continually building their skills to get the career they want.
-Adam Keizer, LCCC Career Services Coordinator
A PATHWAY PROVIDES:
Many students may not know exactly what they want to study when they start college, and others change their mind along the way. With the new structure, students can explore a Pathway at the start of their college experience before having to choose one of its programs. The seven Pathways are built on similar characteristics and similar interests; they share common coursework in their early stages, which provides the student a chance to explore with basically no risk of wasting time, credits, and money on courses that don’t count toward their credential or degree.
Discovery lies at the heart of exploration. The programming in each Pathway allows for independent exploration and is very transparent about where these opportunities are found.
-Kari Brown-Herbst, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs
With a career goal in mind, the Pathways are clearly mapped to show a student what needs to be accomplished to reach their goals. This map shows the right courses a student needs to take while at LCCC and shows them when they’ll be ready for a career or ready to transfer and take the next steps to pursue their future goals.
The process is much more intentional. It gives students the information right off the bat about what to expect. There are no gray areas about ‘what am I supposed to do’ or ‘what might this lead to.’ It’s all right there for them.
-Jess Brumfield, Academic Advisor
Pathways is more than academics. With shared interests at the heart of each Pathway, these naturally form a collection of like-minded students with similar goals as well as opportunities for shared experiences and communities, giving students a sense of belonging and identity. Further, once a student becomes a prospect, they are assigned a specific team from Student Services to create a network of support for their entire journey at LCCC.
Additional components of an LCCC education have been significantly upgraded as well, focusing on developing and enriching the whole student. As several local employers and stakeholders shared with college personnel, they seek employees who have the skills to think critically and communicate clearly, to provide immediate impact in the workplace. The general education courses at LCCC now have an intentional design for students to become more fully involved with research and problem solving, creativity and innovation, empathy and integrity, and communication and collaboration. With the mandatory Strategies for Success class, students learn soft skills to prepare them for future success and also to engage in an entrepreneurial mindset to successfully navigate obstacles in their personal and professional lives.
We hear from employers looking for candidates who are good co-workers; show integrity; listen, speak, and write well; and can solve problems on their own. Our general education curriculum is designed to serve our students regardless of where their careers or lives take them.
-Melanie Young, English Instructor and Chair of the School of Arts & Humanities
This overhaul of LCCC is designed to improve every aspect of the students’ educational experience. It’s a better way to learn, a better way to explore, and a better way to go to college.
IT’S PATHWAYS AT LCCC, AND IT’S A BETTER WAY.
This changes everything for our students! We are so excited about the college aligning processes to be more student-centered as a result of the incredible work done by so many people here at LCCC. Just watch where we go from here.
-Dr. Melissa Stutz, Vice President of Student Services
THE FOUR PILLARS OF AACC’S GUIDED PATHWAYS 2.0
THE LCCC PATHWAYS
AGRICULTURE & EQUINE
BUSINESS & ACCOUNTING
COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE ARTS
HEALTH SCIENCES & WELLNESS
HUMAN & PUBLIC SERVICES
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING & MATH (STEM)
TRADES & TECHNICAL STUDIES