The Process and Practice Assessment phase enables practitioners to use their emerging or deepening knowledge of gaps in student outcomes to solve problems in practice. This is a form of applied-systems thinking in which practitioners look at the large, systemic functions of their institutions and strategically analyze how the steps and practices that make up these major functional processes affect students’ achievements and the larger system. Focusing on improving process and practice rather than blaming students for their inadequacies is fundamental to Pathways to Results.


The Process and Practice Assessment phase works toward overcoming the "deficit thinking” that sometimes characterizes discussions centering on outcome inequities. Teams move away from the idea that "If we had better students, we would have better outcomes" to the mentality that "If we create better processes, our students will demonstrate better outcomes" (Harmon, Liss, & Umbricht, 2012).



The goals of this phase are to:

  1. Identify pathway and programs of study processes and practices that inequitably impact student outcomes.
  2. Identify the primary contributing factors that act as impediments to effectively supporting student outcomes and/or limit improvement to processes and practices.