Guided Pathways

With Guided Pathways, students have a clear route to their educational and career goals.  Students take just the courses they need, following an education plan that maps out their choices all the way to earning a degree.  Each student is assigned a Success Navigator to help them stay on track, review their progress, and make changes as needed.

Pathways Steering Committee

  • Jennifer Adams, Library
  • Steven Albee-Scott, Science, Engineering & Mathematics Pathway, Faculty
  • Ashley Banks, Marketing & Communications
  • Dennis Baskins, Academic Deans – Business & Human Services
  • Todd Butler, Academic Deans – Dean, Arts & Sciences
  • Kelly Chambers, Information Technology
  • Anthony Cleveland, Human Services Pathway, Faculty
  • Marcie Clone, Information Technology
  • Phyllis Eaton, Assistant Dean of Health Professions
  • Marianne Finch, JC @ LISD TECH
  • Charlotte Finnegan, Academic Deans—Guided Pathways
  • Clarinda Flannery, Foundation Studies/Liberal Arts Pathway, Faculty
  • Jeremey Frew, Student Services – Vice President
  • Justin Gaeta, Institutional Research & Effectiveness
  • Patricia Guenther, Health Sciences Pathway, Faculty
  • Matt Higgins, Skilled Trades & Agriculture Pathway, Chair, Faculty
  • Dianne Hill, Business & Computer Technology Pathway, Chair, Faculty
  • Karen Hocter, Academic Deans
  • Amanda Janes, Hillsdale LeTarte Center
  • Dotty Karkheck, Marketing & Communications
  • Mary Jo Kennedy, Human Services Pathway, Criminal Justice programs
  • John Knevel, Foundation Studies – Seminar courses
  • Kristi Laird, Science, Engineering & Mathematics Pathway, Chair, Faculty
  • Sara Main, Science, Engineering & Mathematics Pathway, Faculty
  • Heather Marshall, Work-based Learning
  • Michael Masters, JC @ LISD TECH & Hillsdale LeTarte Center
  • Tom McMillenOakley, Liberal Arts Pathway, Chair, Faculty
  • Zak McNitt, Student Services — Registrar
  • Christy Mecey, Skilled Trades & Agriculture Pathway, Faculty
  • Ted Miller, Foundation Studies, Chair, Faculty
  • Brian Newberry, Academic Deans – Instructional Design
  • Sara Perkin, President’s Office – Chief of Staff
  • Martha Petry, Liberal Arts Pathway, PTK
  • Jon Powell, Science, Engineering & Mathematics Pathway, Chair, Faculty
  • Kimberly Seaburg, Academic Deans – Scheduling
  • Kate Thirolf, Academic Deans – Vice President of Instruction
  • Ashley VanHeest, Student Services – Transfer
  • Nathan Venske, Student Services – Admissions and Advising
  • Pat Visser, Science, Engineering & Mathematics Pathway, Curriculum Committee, Faculty
  • Jennifer Wheeler, Health Sciences Pathway, Faculty
  • Heather Wollet, Liberal Arts, Foundation Studies

Pathways Journey

  • 2013 – Foundation Studies Committee conversations begin regarding pathways.
  • March 2014 – Team attends CCSSE High Impact Practices Institute and discusses pathways.
  • October 2014 – Board adopts FY15 Strategic Plan including Pathways as a strategic initiative.
  • October 2014 – Subcommittee of Foundation Studies created to focus on Pathways.
  • December 2014 – AQIP Action Plan created for Pathways.
  • December 2014 – College team attends MCCA Guided Pathways Institute.
  • January/February 2015 – Admitted into MCCA Cohort I for Guided Pathways.
  • May 2015 – 6 Pathways identified and approved by Academic Council and Leadership Council: Business & Computer Technology; Health Services; Human Services; Liberal Arts; Science, Engineering & Math; and Skilled Trades & Agriculture.
  • June 2015 – Student Success Navigator model approved by the Board.
  • September 2015 – Program maps including milestones completed by faculty.
  • October/November 2015 – Exploratory program maps created for undecided students. December 2015/January 2016 – Program changes included in new catalog.
  • Fall 2015 – Accepted into the AACC Guided Pathways Pathway Project.
  • Fall 2015 – Developmental writing is fully scaled to the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) model and traditional developmental writing classes are no longer offered.
  • Winter semester 2016 – New students advised and registered using program maps.
  • May 2016 –Occupational faculty and Arts & Sciences faculty narrow down the recommended general education courses for each program map.
  • September 2016 – Pathways with pathway-specific SEM140 course launches.
  • Fall 2016 – Revised intake process to include career assessment and non-cognitive assessment; reviewed milestones policies and procedures.
  • Fall 2016 – Mathematics faculty launch the Quantitative Literacy curriculum, completing the conversion to the right math at the right time with three pathways.
  • Winter 2017 – Academic departments and faculty chairs are reconfigured and organized by pathway. Deans are assigned to pathways.
  • Fall 2017 – Began work with MCSS/MCCA on Michigan Guided Pathways 2.0 implementation; developed University Transfer Liaison position to assist with transfer maps and agreements.
  • Fall 2017 – Developmental reading expands the conversion to an ALP model, pairing with key college level courses in pathways.
  • Winter 2018 – Students are assigned to Navigators by pathways. Navigators are assigned as liaisons to work with pathway faculty and bring curriculum and program information to the rest of the advising staff.
  • Winter 2018 – Navigators began the National Career Development Association training to work with students on career development.


A cross-functional team of faculty and staff participate in the Pathways Steering Committee to set goals and report on progress in implementing pathway maps and Showcase Events.  The committee makes recommendations on policies, set annual goals and reports on progress.  Each Pathway is represented by faculty designated as Pathway Team Leads.


The Professional Development committee includes Pathways speakers and updates each Fall semester.  Guest speakers have included Rob Johnstone and Davis Jenkins of the AACC Guided Pathways Project.  Cross-functional teams of faculty and staff participate in AACC and Michigan Guided Pathways institutes.

PATHWAYs at Jackson college

A broad content area that students choose as they begin college. Programs of study at Jackson College are organized into these six career pathways:

  • Business and Computer Technology
  • Health Sciences
  • Human Services
  • Liberal Arts
  • Science, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Skilled Trades and Agriculture


A recommended sequence of courses that can serve as a default plan for students who intend to pursue the program of study. Programs of study within a pathway may share many introductory courses, core courses and recommended general education courses.  Students and their student success navigators use program maps as guides for building schedules when the prescribed default plan is not appropriate.


All students receive support in selecting the program of study that best fits their interests and goals. Those who need some time to make that decision will follow an exploratory map designed for their pathway until they have chosen a program. Exploratory maps guide students through a set of courses that meet academic requirements that are common across several related programs of study. By adhering to these maps, students are able to explore degree options without losing credit or time toward completion.


Milestones are points along the path to program completion that are designed to help students know they are on course. Milestones are also a means of tracking students’ progress and intervening when necessary—to provide extra support or to discuss alternative program options. The intent is to give students useful feedback early and often.


Seminary in Life Pathways (SEM 140) is a gateway course to Jackson College, required for all degree-seeking students.  In SEM 140, students explore career and program of study options, set goals to complete a college credential, and work with their success navigators to plan the courses they will take, semester-by-semester, to achieve their goals.


Faculty members plan Pathway Showcase events to inform students about career and program of study options available within a pathway.  Students can meet program faculty and ask questions about the programs of study in which they are interested.  Students are encouraged to communicate regularly with faculty in their desired program of study at Jackson College.  The Fall Showcase event is set as a no-classes day.  About 600 students attend the Fall Showcase and 200 attend the Winter Showcase.


  • Jackson College Scorecard
  • Governor’s Dashboard
  • Board ENDs Monitoring Reports
  • KPIs set by CCRC as part of the AACC Guided Pathways Project


Lack of State policy that ensures students do not lose transfer credit.


  • All program maps complete and built in Student Planning module
  • Exploratory pathway maps complete
  • Developmental education integrated as co-requisites
  • Students receive help early to determine career choices
  • Seminar 140: Seminar in Life Pathways required of all new students
  • Developing connections to Jackson Preparatory & Early College Pathways
  • Student Success Navigators work with students to help determine appropriate Pathway at the beginning of their studies at the college
  • Pathway Showcases held each semester


  • Build all transfer pathways
    • Increase number of articulation agreements where needed
    • May 2018: Multi-institutional associate degree to bachelor’s degree transfer pathways work begins with MCSS
    • Align an Associate of Arts option to each pathway
  • Continually review General Education course sequencing, selection, and alignment within the Pathway
  • Project impact on enrollment
  • Career assessment integrated into student intake process
  • Non-cognitive assessment integrated in the student intake process
  • Connecting student plans to class schedules
  • Annually review milestone selections and program maps
  • Revise exploratory maps to reflect changes in curriculum
  • Further align program maps to create common starting points for students