Pathways to Results (PTR) is aimed at improving student transitions to and through postsecondary education and into employment. It empowers organizations to use methods, templates and tools to continuously improve pathways and programs of study by addressing inequities in student outcomes. Enhanced outcomes for students, programs, organizations, and systems is the ultimate goal of PTR.

Pathways to Results Introductory Video

Goals and History of PTR

Debra Bragg, Gutgsell Endowed Professor and founding director of OCCRL, describes how PTR focuses on access and outcomes of students.

Goals

  • Improve career cluster-based Programs of Study planning and implementation using an inquiry- and equity-focused, continuous improvement process.
  • Improve transition outcomes for underserved students, including groups of students who are racially and ethnically diverse, low income, low literacy, and first generation college.
  • Align PTR to public policies dedicated to improving student transition to college and careers, including Carl D. Perkins, NCLB and High Schools that Work (HSTW), Titles I and II of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Accelerating Opportunities (Jobs for the Future), Shifting Gears (Joyce Foundation), and other initiatives.
  • Improve access of PTR teams to data and tools that support evidence-based decision making and continuous improvement.

History

Pathways to Results (PTR) emerged as a method to improve Programs of Study in the state of Illinois, but it can be applied to any program and process that seeks to improve outcomes and performance. OCCRL’s development of PTR has benefited from the generous support of the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). Insights from leaders of the University of Southern California’s Center on Urban Education (CUE), specifically the Equity Scorecard™ and the Benchmarking Equity and Student Success Tool™, have been instrumental to PTR’s development, which began in 2009 with six pilot sites.

To date, PTR has involved a total of 66 projects involving nearly all community colleges and most secondary districts in Illinois. Trade Adjustment Act Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) consortia that are partnering with OCCRL as third-party evaluator are implementing PTR as well. Further, OCCRL is integrating PTR into the Transformative Change Inititative, which is a new initiative that seeks to scale pathway and program of study innovations nationwide. In all these ways, PTR helps practitioners to understand obstacles to student success (from the students’ perspective) so breakthroughs can happen. Bottom line:  Adoption of equity-minded practices is key to raising performance.

PTR is aligned with Illinois’ Program of Study Initiative, which follows six guiding principles created by practitioners across the site, with guidance and support from the OCCRL, the ICCB, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and the Illinois Center for Specialized Professional Support (ICSPS) at Illinois State University. To read more about Programs of Study, its six principles, or find resources for Programs of Study, please follow the links provided.

Current Topics

    case study blog graphic4
  • Harry S Truman College’s Multipronged Approach to Improving Retention and Completion Among Males of Color

    Through data collection and analysis, Harry S Truman College (Truman) found equity gaps for Black and Latino males in their cosmetology program. Black and Latino males were not persisting or completing at rates comparable to their White or female counterparts. Truman identified two contributing factors that impacted completion for the males of color in their program. The first factor was identified through an analysis of COMPASS reading assessment scores. This analysis revealed reading supports could be important in supporting students’ academic success. Second, they learned through a survey of males of color that male students were interested in barbering. To address these factors Truman implemented new integrated and proactive reading supports and incorporated barbering-specific content into the programs curriculum. Truman’s reading interventions include pre- and post-course assessments, integrated reading center supports, and reading tutoring supports.

    Truman was one of five colleges who were part of PTR’s first cohort of second-year implementation and evaluation grants. These teams are expanding on the work completed in the first year of the PTR project. Truman's PTR team is setting the stage for scaling change at their institution. Truman is an exemplar in translating critical data analysis into actionable transformative changes that improve equity and outcomes for their students. The work being done at Truman may inspire you in ways that support students of color at your institution. Read Edmund Graham’s, Ready and Interested: Harry S Truman College’s Multipronged Approach to Improving Retention and Completion Among Males of Color to learn more.

    Full story
  • case study blog graphic4
  • Employing Content-Based Curricula in Nursing at Illinois Central College to Improve Equity and Outcomes for Students

    Pathways to Results has undergone a number of changes over the years in being responsive to practitioners who use it to improve student outcomes within community college pathways. This past year (FY15), OCCRL implemented one of our largest transformations yet – a second year grant focused on the implementation and evaluation of solutions. Five teams piloted this work, Illinois Central College being one. This made sense as Illinois Central was also a part of the original PTR pilot in 2009 and has been a perennial PTR partner over the years.

    Our new strategy briefs series highlight the experiences of teams as they work to improve student outcomes through the implementation and evaluation of high impact solutions. In the case of Illinois Central College, their teamed discovered that students had trouble in various healthcare pathways and so decided to embark on a five-year curriculum redesign –shifting from a content based to concept based curriculum. To learn more about Illinois Central’s work, check out Employing Content-Based Curricula in Nursing at Illinois Central College to Improve Equity and Outcomes for Students.

    PTR team 2

    Full story
  • case study blog graphic4
  • Implementing Contextualized Math to Address Barriers to Completion for Students in the MultiCraft Technology Pathway at Sauk Valley Community College

    Sauk Valley Community College initially sought to explore gender equity within the MultiCraft Technology pathway. However, the data revealed that students in general were electing to take technical courses in the first few semesters and delaying general education requirements until the end. Skills gaps in math and reading that required developmental coursework compounded this problem. Thus, the team identified developmental education needs and structures as distinctive barriers to completion.

    After an exploration of the math curriculum within the pathway, the team concluded that the curriculum could be revamped to integrate math concepts within the technical courses in lieu of requiring one technical math course. Feedback from students and industry partners indicate that the integration of math in the technical curriculum had the potential to alleviate obstacles to completion, boost confidence, and better prepare students for the workforce.

    Sauk Valley was one of five colleges who were part of PTR’s first cohort of second-year implementation and evaluation grants. These teams are expanding on the work completed in the first year of the PTR project. Sauk Valley’s PTR team is setting the stage for scaling change at their institution. With approximately 56% of their incoming students placing into at least one developmental course, institutional efforts to support students in overcoming this barrier to completion have been embraced beyond this pathway. Administrators were able to see the opportunity for scale and sustainability in an institution-wide effort to redesign developmental education. The work being done at Sauk Valley may inspire you to embrace innovative strategies to alleviate barriers to completion for students placed into developmental education at your institution. Read Integrating Contextualized Math in the MultiCraft Curricula at Saux Valley Community College to learn more.

    Full story
  • case study blog graphic4
  • Utilizing Degree Audit and Reengagement Strategies to Improve Student Retention and Completion at Rend Lake College

    Rend Lake College initially sought to identify potential barriers to completion for a cohort of high school students who had taken CTE dual credit courses, enrolled at the college but did not persist to completion. Data indicated that 6% of students who did not persist or transfer actually completed a certificate but never received it. Furthermore, an even higher percentage were within one semester of completing a CTE degree or certificate. These numbers combined to represent 20% of students being one graduation application or one semester away from completion. Low-income students were particularly impacted with reductions in financial aid distribution as a result of non-attendance leaving a balance on their student account and serving as a barrier to reenrollment.

    As a result of these findings, Rend Lake instituted a credit and credential attainment strategy. Students that had completed but not applied for a degree or certificate were identified as well as those who had stopped out near completion. From there, transcripts were systematically audited and staff made outreach to individual students. At the end of the Spring 2016 semester, these efforts resulted in the identification and awarding of 350 certificates that had been earned but never applied for by students no longer attending the institution. Since that time, the team reports that the number has increased by an additional 635 certificates bringing the total conferred as a result of this project to 992 certificates. 

    Rend Lake was one of five colleges who were part of PTR’s first cohort of second-year implementation and evaluation grants. These teams are expanding on the work completed in the first year of the PTR project. Rend Lake’s PTR team is setting the stage for scaling change at their institution. In addition to the degree audit and outreach, the institution removed the graduation fee, instituted professional development for faculty and staff to stress the importance of completion, and strengthened campus partnerships related to early alert and other student support strategies.  The work being done at Rend Lake may inspire you to institute or strengthen strategies to support student retention and completion at your institution.

    Read Improving CTE Student Retention and Transfer at Rend Lake College with Degree Audit and Reengagment Strategies to learn more.

    Full story
  • case study blog graphic4
  • Improving Transitions and Outcomes for Nontraditional-Aged Students at Oakton Community College

    Oakton Community College (Oakton) has a robust pathway for students who transition directly from high school into their manufacturing program of study. However, over 80% of the students in the program are nontraditional-aged students who transition into the program after taking non-credit coursework. Earlier this year, Oakton’s Pathways to Results (PTR) team identified a lower persistence rate for non-traditional aged students when compared to the traditional-aged students, and set out to strengthen the pathway for these students. Armed with student record data and student focus group data, Oakton’s PTR team set out to create a seamless transition into credit-bearing coursework for nontraditional-aged students, within the manufacturing program of study.

    Oakton used three interconnected strategies aimed at supporting positive outcomes for these students. First, they piloted a work-to-learn program with integrated coursework and work-based learning. Second, they built opportunities for students to earn credit for prior learning for their non-credit coursework. Third, they integrated information about non-credit students into their student success report, providing teams with the information necessary to continue to improve outcomes for their students.

    Oakton was one of five colleges who were part of PTR’s first cohort of second-year implementation and evaluation grants. These teams are expanding on the work completed in the first year of the PTR project. Oakton's PTR team is setting the stage for scaling change at their institution. Oakton’s PTR team went beyond implementation of these strategies in their manufacturing program. Oakton's PTR team is a change agent, focused on creating the opportunity to scale these interventions to other programs of study. The work being done at Oakton may inspire you in ways that support nontraditional-aged students at your institution. Read Heather McCambly’s, A Multipronged Approach to Improving Transitions and Outcomes for Nontraditional-Aged Students in Select Pathways at Oakton Community College to learn more.

    PTR team 2
     
    Full story

Publications

Publication Search

        News

        PTR News updates subscribers on the latest publications, meetings, data, and other information related to Pathways to Results.

        Events