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A key tenet of Guided Pathways is clarifying pathways for students so that they know how to reach their goals. In addition to ensuring that students know how to get to their end goals, the Guided Pathways model seeks to accelerate students’ progress toward their goals.
Many community college students place into developmental courses when they begin their studies. Developmental courses are sometimes referred to as transitional courses. Transitional courses are designed to support student success, yet they add time and credits to the degree. KCC has been ahead of the curve with regard to finding ways to support students while allowing them to move more quickly along their pathways.
In 2015, KCC piloted the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) to assist students who needed extra support in Freshman Composition. The ALP model pairs the highest-level transitional writing course (TSEN 95) with the entry-level college composition course (ENGL 151) and is required for students who do not place directly into ENGL 151. Because the courses are taken concurrently, the amount of time for a student to receive the support from developmental coursework is reduced. In 2018, KCC fully implemented the ALP model for Freshman Composition.
Students who are not prepared to enter into the ALP courses can take Basic Writing (TSEN 065) and Basic College Reading (TSRE 55) simultaneously prior to enrolling in the ALP courses. In addition to offering support for writing, TSEN 65 incorporates instruction to help students improve their study skills.
Similarly, math faculty are exploring ways to support acceleration through developmental coursework. Since the early 2000s, diagnostics testing has been used to ensure students were in the correct developmental course. Students who tested into TSMA 25 (Basic Math), the lowest level of transitional math offered, could self-pace and complete TSMA 45 (Pre-Algebra) in the same semester if they were able to meet course outcomes. In Summer 2021, TSMA 25 was eliminated and students who would have been required to enroll in that course now take TSMA 45C, a support co-requisite, simultaneously with TSMA 45.
In Fall 2021, two additional co-requisite math courses were implemented: MATH 125C is a co-requisite support course for students needing MATH 125 (College Algebra); MATH 105C is the co-requisite course to support students in MATH 105 (Beginning Algebra). In Fall 2022, MATH 115C will be implemented for students enrolled in MATH 115 (Math for Liberal Arts).
The co-requisite models being used in math and English provide added academic support for students while allowing them to progress in their pathway toward the degree.