Community Column: Leading the nation in student support and guidance
June 12, 2019
As a place for higher learning, Palo Alto College is committed to providing a top-tier educational experience that prepares students to be employed in high-wage, high-demand jobs that will provide them and their families with greater economic prosperity that can change entire communities.
We work together on a daily basis to explore new academic programs that support our growing economy, develop support systems for our students' needs outside of the classroom, and create partnerships with our school district and university partners to enhance educational access.
For us to continue to provide top-quality education and resources, Palo Alto College makes a significant effort to share best practices with colleges and universities across the United States and find solutions that support student success.
Recently, we’ve embarked on a new journey to continue building knowledge-sharing opportunities. Palo Alto College has been selected by the Association of American Colleges and Universities as one of 20 colleges to participate in a two-year project to strengthen learning outcomes and assessment using a learning model, known as Guided Pathways, that supports students through the educational process.
By working collaboratively with the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin, Guided Pathways will help Palo Alto College take a look at our current educational model and make necessary adjustments to the entire student experience, from selecting a program of study to graduation. At the end of the two-year project, the model will allow students to fully understand the connection between program-specific classroom learning and general employability skills like critical thinking and teamwork.
Creating a new learning model through the Guided Pathways project will require a college-wide commitment to change, along with thorough planning, consistent implementation, and ongoing evaluation.
As Palo Alto College continues our journey to performance excellence, our first-rate faculty and staff remain dedicated to sharing knowledge and fostering innovative thinking that will pave the way for students and our community to build life-long success.
This column by Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College, was originally published in the San Antonio Express-News' Southside Reporter and mysanantonio.com.