Colleges that offer the right mix of flexibility and structure can make a world of difference for students. With programs that offer too much flexibility, students can easily get off track. And in programs with overly rigid structure, students may have a hard time fitting college into their lives. By creating academic sequences and course structures that meet students where they are, institutions can create clear pathways to a degree.
The path to a degree or credential can feel more like a winding road than a straight line. Many students struggle to navigate their way to a degree because of unclear course sequences, scheduling challenges, or narrowly tailored majors that leave little room for choice.
of students who take College Algebra do not not go on to take Calculus
of excess credits result from poor student choices, unavailable courses, transfer issues, or degree requirements
of undergraduate students change their major within three years
Identify the appropriate gateway math course that is aligned with the skills students need for their chosen program of study.
Provide students with opportunities to explore related programs of study that allow them to make more informed and deliberate decisions about their majors, while making progress towards their degrees.
Academic Maps & Milestones
Delineate the path to graduation and highlight significant milestones that contribute to student success in a clear and comprehensive format.
Design schedules that contribute to degree progression and meet the needs of all students.
Stackable Certificates & Credentials
Create competency-driven structures that encourage lifelong learning and attainment of degrees of value.
Math Pathways: The Way Forward
This report looks at lessons learned from research and innovation in math instruction to make recommendations that can help effectively scale new, more effective math pathways at the federal, state, district, and institution levels.
Don’t Forget Equity When Reforming Postsecondary Math
Postsecondary math reforms have not consistently addressed the instructional and support strategies that can determine success, particularly for marginalized students.
Crossing Signals: What College Websites Tell Students About Taking Mathematics
This report examines how college websites support or detract from students’ abilities to make appropriate choices about their math courses and pathways and how that guidance supports equitable outcomes.
Meta Majors: AN ESSENTIAL FIRST STEP ON THE PATH TO COLLEGE COMPLETION
Meta-majors are the prix fixe alternative to the cafeteria style approach to college.
Lessons Learned from the Meta-Major Front
It’s all about buy-in. Buy-in from faculty, buy-in from staff and buy-in from students. That’s the message from those California community colleges that have successfully packaged the scores of degrees and certificates being offered into career clusters known as “meta-majors.”
Colleges across the country are moving toward “meta major” tracks for freshmen
As universities begin to offer more majors, students are becoming less likely to graduate within four years. To address this problem, some colleges have started offering “meta majors” — broad course tracks encompassing a group of related programs.
Building Academic Maps
The exercise of building academic maps should begin with a discussion with the faculty governing body of the institution.
8 Week Semesters: Reshaping the Calendar
What if we went to 8 week semesters? Two jobs plus one kid plus five classes equals eight things to manage. Two jobs plus one kid plus two classes equals five things to manage. Five things are easier than eight things.
3 ideas for more flexible course scheduling
How higher ed institutions are implementing late-start courses, mini-semesters and block scheduling to better serve students
Course Sharing within a Consortium to give students more options
Armed with the ability to strategically flex their course offerings to give students more options, the Acadeum network of institutions are pioneering new ways to overcome barriers to student success and develop structural solutions.
Innovation U #1: Bob Wise & Stackable Credentials
Bob Wise (former US Congressman and Governor of West Virginia) discusses the importance of stackable credentials in the post-pandemic future of higher education.
Stackable Credentials Backgrounder
Stacking credentials—including certificates, badges, and degrees—can help to drive student success and ease pathways by ensuring that individuals do not need to pay for or spend time on the same material twice.
Making Credentials Matter
Higher education institutions should think clearly about their students' occupational goals and the ways various credentials can give them access to the fields they want to enter, write Jimmie Williamson and Matthew Pittinsky.
Learn from CCA's Content Experts
CCA has connections to dozens of higher-ed professionals with experience shaping policy, perspective, and practice for the benefit of their states, institutions—and students.