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

Goals of PTR

  • Improve career cluster-based Programs of Study planning and implementation using an inquiry- and equity-focused process that centers on continuous improvement.
  • 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, No Child Left Behind, 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 using data and tools that support evidence-based decision making and continuous improvement.

History of PTR

Pathways to Results (PTR) emerged as a method to improve Programs of Study in 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 at the Center on Urban Education (CUE) at the University of Southern California, specifically from the Equity Scorecard™ and the Benchmarking Equity and Student Success Tool™, have been instrumental to PTR’s development, which began with six pilot sites in 2009.

PTR has to date collaborated on more than 100 projects involving nearly all community colleges and most secondary districts in Illinois. The Trade Adjustment Act Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) consortia are partnering with OCCRL as third-party evaluators and implementing PTR as well. Further, OCCRL is integrating PTR into the Transformative Change Inititative, which strives to scale pathway and program of study innovations nationwide.

In these ways, PTR helps practitioners understand obstacles to student success (from the students’ perspective) so that breakthroughs can happen. The adoption of equity-minded practices is a huge aspect of raising performance.

PTR is aligned with the Program of Study initiative in Illinois, which follows six guiding principles created by practitioners statewide with guidance and support from OCCRL, ICCB, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and the Illinois Center for Specialized Professional Support (ICSPS) at Illinois State University. Read more about Programs of Study, its six guiding principles, and find resources.

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