New Guided Pathways Program intended to make college experience more efficient

Cosumnes River College faculty is holding open meetings to discuss the implementation of the Meta-Majors and Guided pathways program in the coming semesters.

The Meta-Majors and Pathways Program is intended to streamline the community college educational experience and greatly reduce the time spent in community college.

College officials are excited and are anticipating the roll out of the meta-majors and guided pathways program.

“I’m hyped on it, and I want to see it rolled out,” said Dean of Guided Pathways Alexander Casareno.

The goal of the Guided Pathways Program is to make the college experience more efficient for incoming students, as well as reduce potentially wasted effort in attending classes that do not further the students goals toward their degree or diploma of choice.

“Our college was built by design and circumstances,” said Casareno. “We want to build it by intention.”

Wasted time is a major concern among students.

“I wish I’d have known about it when I first started,” said Jmari Ware, a 24-year-old radio production major. “I’ve been in college for 4 ½ – 5 years, I’m just about to transfer.”

These are some of the issues the meta-majors plan hopes to address.

“The college is going through a transformation,” said Nutrition Professor Dana Wassmer.

The current student plan differs. Classes are offered in a grab bag-like situation with little clarity of the total cumulative needed classes and scheduling conflicts that can be daunting to new and returning students alike.

In the new meta-majors system, “Everything you can think of will be intentionally imbedded on the path, as opposed to a whole forest of classes offered,” said Wassmer.

The concept of guidance doesn’t just apply to the course selection process either. “We want to help guide students through the college experience, including the application process, financial aid and orientation,” said Wassmer.

Once instituted, the Meta-Majors and Pathways Program will also facilitate the ability to find employers after graduation.

“We will be able to tell them the courses they need to get a degree as well as the information on careers within that meta major,” said Wassmer.

Changes will be incremental at first and then sweeping.

“The college is beginning to embark on how to combine all of our departments and sort them,”said Casareno.

Some of the changes, however, will require much planning. “Any kind of change will be slow” said Casareno.

Regardless of timing, it is clear that these issues are important to students and faculty alike and long overdue for a restructuring.

Students responded positively to the idea of a more structured plan with help from faculty. “The whole schedule in one go seems pretty helpful,” said Joshua Eddington, an 18-year-old English major.

Students showing interest are encouraged to become involved.

“Steering committee meetings are Mondays 3 to 4 p.m. in room 106, students are welcome to come to any of the meetings and get involved” said Casareno.

CRC college faculty reminds us that the meta-majors and guided pathways plans are in conversational drafts at this point, asking for any help or feedback the students can provide by either attending one of the steering committee meetings or posting any questions anonymously at [email protected].

“Any feedback we can get from our students is encouraged,” said Wassmer. “Please be involved. Ask us questions, we will respond.”