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.


  • 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.


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.

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