Skip to Main Content

Nursing students at Long Beach City College; photo courtesy of the California Community Colleges Chancellor's OfficeDetermining the best approach in helping students achieve success is one of the main priorities of the California Community Colleges (CCC). One recent, high-profile reform is the California Guided Pathways Project.

This project, under the fiscal agency of the Foundation for California Community Colleges, is designed to “help California Community Colleges implement an integrated, institution-wide approach to student success by creating structured educational experiences that support each student from point of entry to attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials and careers.”

The CCC Education Planning Initiative (EPI) aligns itself to the important concept of Guided Pathways through its development of tools such as the CCC MyPath student services portal. In key areas, CCC MyPath supports the four dimensions of the Pathways Model, assisting institutions in this endeavor.

What Are Guided Pathways?

Guided pathways reform, according to the Foundation, “is a student-centered approach that can dramatically increase the number of students earning community college credentials, while closing equity gaps.”

Guided pathways involves the entire college working together to integrate initiatives such as the Student Success and Support Program (SSSP), Equity, Basic Skills Transformation, the Strong Workforce Program and California College Promise. The purpose of Guided Pathways is not to work with a subset of students but with all students enrolled at the 20 colleges selected to participate. Modeled from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Pathways Project, Guided Pathways “helps colleges clarify paths to student end goals, helps student select and stay on path, and ensure quality learning.”

How CCC MyPath Helps Students

CCC MyPath, developed by the EPI in response to California State Senate Bill 1456, is a component of the EPI’s mission to establish statewide online systems for CCC students as an expansion of the Service Oriented Architecture platform (OpenCCC) for education planning and degree audit services via a single sign-on student portal. The CCC MyPath student services portal is an important part of the planned suite of student-facing tools. It is designed to aid students during the matriculation process and beyond. CCC MyPath aids students by:

  • Acting as a hub for important tools: The portal will serve as the jumping off point for various important student functions, and will collect them in a central location so the student always knows where to find them. CCC Apply, the Career Coach career exploration tool and the Starfish Early Alert system are just a few of the important tools that students can launch from this hub.

  • Facilitating communication between institutions and students.

  • Providing access to content, when that content is relevant.

Mike Caruso, CCC MyPath product manager, has a vision of the multiple benefits the portal will provide to CCC students. According to Caruso, CCC MyPath will provide a “centralized workflow tool that connects various components that a student will find useful and can be customized to [a college’s] branding and workflow needs.”

Alignment To The 4 Dimensions

The SSSP toolsets accessed through CCC MyPath align closely to the Guided Pathways initiative. Based on the approach desired by individual institutions, the toolset can be configured to accommodate meta-majors and support modeling/planning by students and their counselors. CCC MyPath aligns to the four dimensions by:

Making the path clear:

  • A student visits the CCC MyPath website and participates in the career assessment.

  • Based on the assessment, they choose a career pathway and learn about related courses and careers.

Joining the path:

  • Based on the pathways developed at their chosen college, their academic assessment/placement and transcript information, the degree audit program calculates the student’s remaining coursework and pre-populates the education plan with courses and sequence.

  • The student then provides information about their life, such as work schedule, timeline objectives and more into the education plan, which then forecasts the timing of courses.

  • This information can be modeled using different scenarios created by the student, and by the student with their counselor, to select the plan that works best to achieve their goals. The final education plan (SEP) must be approved by a counselor.

Keeping to the path:

  • Plans are visible to both student and counselors throughout their journey supporting ongoing adjustments based on scheduling or academic needs.

  • Ongoing monitoring (e.g., early alert) and communications within CCC MyPath manage referrals (e.g. online tutoring, veterans services, etc.) and "closed loop" student services through completion.

Ensure learning:

  • Student services information can be paired with learning outcomes (captured by external systems) to evaluate effectiveness and tune performance.

For more information about CCC MyPath as well as vital background information regarding the EPI and status updates, visit the EPI website at An informational webinar on CCC MyPath is available for viewing. The webinar can be found under the “Resources” tab, on the “Webinars” page.

David Quintanilla is a project team member of
the California Community Colleges Education Planning Initiative



CCC TechEDge News and CCC Technology for Student Success News ceased publication in 2018.

Produced by the CCC Technology Center under a grant from the CCC Chancellor's Office, both publications are archived on this website.