Pathways to Results: How Practitioners Address Student Access, Outcomes, and Equity...

by Jessica Pickel and Debra D. Bragg / Dec 9, 2015

At a time when the nation is focusing so much attention on college completion, what do we know about how students are completing their community college programs? Does the open-access mission of community colleges translate into favorable outcomes? What do we know about pathways and programs of study that include the community college? Do processes exist to systematically understand and improve pathways and programs of study?

Pathways to Results (PTR) engages practitioners in using data to close equity gaps for student groups historically underserved by postsecondary education, including students of color, low income and first generation students, and others. Addressing this issue, a new article titled Pathways to Results: How Practitioners Address Student Access, Outcomes, and Equity in an Associate Degree Nursing Program by Jessica Pickel and Debra Bragg describes the experiences of practitioners at Richland Community College who implemented PTR to improve student access, outcomes, and equity in an associate degree nursing program.The article shares lessons learned about the importance of involving institutional research (IR) in developing equity-minded practitioners, supporting faculty and staff with tools and resources, communicating with college leaders about program improvements based on data analysis, and engaging internal and external stakeholders in the process of improvement.

The article can be located at New Directions for Community Colleges, no. 172, Winter 2015. Published online in Wiley Online Library ( - DOI:  10:1002/cc.20162

Jessica-PickelJessica Pickel is Director of Adult Education at Richland Community College in Decatur, IL.  She received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

debra-braggDr. Debra D. Braggis the founding director of the Office of Community College Research and Research and Leadership.