Guided Pathways Glossary

Cohort: Students grouped together by meta-major or other grouping, such as athletics, for data collection, analysis, and big-picture decision-making about pathways development. 

Guided Pathways Model: An institution-wide approach to student success based on intentionally designed, clear, coherent, and structured educational experiences, informed by available evidence, that guide each student effectively and efficiently from his/her point of entry through to attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials and careers with value in the labor market.

Guided Pathways: An umbrella term used to describe highly structured student experiences that guide them on the pathway to completion of a degree or certificate.

Implementation Teams: Cross-functional teams tasked with implementing the recommendations put forth by the Workgroups. Each design team has a lead who reports to the Steering Council every other week.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): A set of metrics designed to measure students’ progress through milestones on their pathway. KPIs can be used to monitor the effectiveness of the Guided Pathways initiative.

Meta-Major: A collection of academic programs that have common or related content. Programs within a meta-major will share some common requirements to allow for early exploration as students may enroll in this broad field of interest without collecting excess units. The meta-majors were used to organize our 90+ programs into six schools, rather than eight departments.

Milestones: Measurable educational achievements, such as completing a college-level math course or number of units within a defined period of time.

Multiple Measures: Utilizing multiple methods of assessment to determine placement into transfer-level math and English courses for incoming college students.

Online Educational Plan: Fully accessible educational plan created by a student support advisor for a student, based on his or her intended major of study and educational goals. The educational plan aligns appropriate and timely coursework in a sequential manner. Intended transfer institution is also considered to ensure the student is taking appropriate courses.

Program: A set of courses and related activities that lead to an attainment of educational objectives, such as a certificate or an associate degree (often referred to as a plan of study).

Program Maps: A descriptive and easy-to-use plan detailing the scope and sequence of courses required to complete a certificate or associate degree and transition to baccalaureate degree programs or the labor market. Includes the route a student takes to connect with, enter, progress through, and complete his or her program of study, as well as, the skills they need to acquire for the labor market they will enter after their certificate or associate, baccalaureate degree, or graduate degree.

Steering Council: Cross-functional council that meets on a weekly basis to guide the overall Guided Pathways activities on the campus.

Student Support Advisor: An incoming student’s single point of contact, who helps them through the whole enrollment process rather than being passed between offices.

Workgroups: Cross-functional groups of faculty and staff from across the College who research best practices and develop recommendations on how MVCC can improve the overall student experience while increasing completion rates by providing an ethical and equitable path for all of our students.