Guided Pathways at Cañada College

Welcome to the Cañada College Guided Pathways site! First and foremost, Cañada's efforts to make sure our institution is "student ready" based on the research-based tenets of the Guided Pathways framework, mandated by the California Community College Chancellor, is about equity. We are seeking to increase the rate at which underrepresented students earn college credentials, particularly degrees and credentials in fields of high economic value, while also closing gaps for low-income students, students of color, returning adults, students with disabilities, and other groups with inequitable outcomes. The changes we have made since launching this effort in 2017 are geared towards removing barriers to the student's journey and to enable all students to attain their educational goals as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Guided Pathways Pillars

clarify the pathClarify the Path (create clear academic pathways to employment and further education)

INTEREST AREAS: In spring 2020, the College organized all of its academic pathways (degree and certificate programs) into four Interest Areas to make it easier to pursue their academic and career interests efficiently (without taking classes they don't need). An Interest Area is a group of academic degree and certificate programs that share common core required courses and which may be similar in terms of the career interests students may have.

Intereset areas

PROGRAM MAPS:To ensure that all degree and certificate programs at Cañada College are clearly defined, communicated and optimally scheduled so that students can see at-a-glance what each program requires, the College implemented program maps. These contain the same information as our College Catalog and website. They are organized by Interest Area and students are encouraged to meet with a Counselor to tailor each program to their own needs and pace of learning.


enterthe pathEnter the Path (help students choose and enter their pathway)

FIRST YEAR EXPERIENCE PROGRAMS: As of fall 2021, all freshmen (first-time students) at Cañada College will participate in a First Year Experience program that includes a series of events and activities during which they will learn about the College, engage with fellow students and faculty in their Interest Areas, understand how academic pathways lead to careers and how they can explore their options during their first year as a college student. Career workshops, social events, and other activities during their first year will help students feel connected and that they know their way around the College.

IMPROVED BUSINESS PROCESSES: In addition to updating our college application, Cañada launched a student-led effort in 2020 to overhaul the college website to make it easier for students to navigate and find the information and resources they need to matriculate successfully. Along with our sister Colleges, Skyline and College of San Mateo, Cañada is building a new Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system to streamline our communications with students.


stay on the path Stay on the Path (help students stay on their path)


Interest Area diagram Fall 2020

SUCCESS TEAMS: In spring 2021, the College is launching a new way to align student support programs with academic pathway programs. Students in each Interest Area will have a Success Team - a small group of college faculty, staff and administrators who monitor their progress and who help all students with:

  • Onboarding and matriculation
  • Retention and persistence
  • Completion of education goals

ensure learningEnsure Learning (follow through and ensure improved student results)

Ultimately, the most important aspect of Guided Pathways is that students find it easier to navigate the College, succeed in their chosen Program of Study, and complete their educational goal in a timely way - be that goal earning a degree, transferring to a four-year university, getting a professional certification, or enjoying the satisfaction of life-long learning. Cañada's Strategic Enrollment Management Plan lays out related work the College is doing to achieve this goal. As always, we monitor metrics, like graduation rates, via our College Scorecard, that let us know how we're doing and where we still need to improve.  During the 2021-22 academic year, Cañada faculty are engaged with the core components for the ensuring students are learning pillar of Guided Pathways and strengthening proven practices across Interest Areas in:

  • Scaled, high-quality, program-relevant, applied learning experiences
  • Intentional and sustained student engagement
  • Evidence-based, high-impact teaching practices
    across modalities
  • Institution-wide commitment to equity-minded, asset-based teaching improvement
  • Quality assessment of program learning outcomes
    that lead to credentials, further education, and/or gainful employment