Pathway Navigation


  • Claudia Estrada-Howell, Supervisor, Transfer, Career & Evaluations, Mesa College
  • Javier Ayala, Dean of Career Technical Education and Workforce Development, Grossmont College


  • Regionally develop the components of career and employment readiness that allow students to enter and thrive in the workforce through placement into career pathways, relevant career orientation and assessments, career and education planning and self-directed learning.


  • Conduct RFA process for colleges to develop or refine intake, orientation and career planning before education planning: Support development or refinement of processes for intake, orientation, and career planning before education planning. RFAs to involve self-assessments and examinations of research, in addition to plans and budgets. Plans to be written and implemented in coordination with Guided Pathways “Entering the Path” efforts.
  • Intake: Increase student enrollment in pathways and student utilization of needed academic and other support services available at their college.
  • Orientation: Increase the number of students entering college with knowledge of pathways and services, while facilitating students’ integration into college life.
  • Career planning: Increase the number of students knowledgeable about their own interests and careers goals, to support effective education planning and long-term success.
  • Professional Development: Create a framework that will allow the region to strategically offer professional development opportunities based on identified needs at the colleges.


  • Research:
    • Use research findings to assess the current intake processes taking place at participating colleges and regionally, describe the components of orientations geared toward careers and general education, and ascertain components of career and educational planning
    • These goals will be achieved through the use of a survey tool that is administered. Data will be collected and analyzed
  • Development:
    • Intake form (student onboarding)
    • Differentiated Orientation program framework, broken down by mega-major/sector/academic and or career pathways sector
    • Framework for how career assessment and planning could occur before education planning
    • Repository of best practices
  • Professional development:
    • PD for counselors, on the understanding of career development and planning
    • Development of a Professional Learning Network to provide peer-to-peer support (need to determine whether this would be by meta-major/industry with counselors, career staff and faculty together, or by function)
  • Implementation strategies:
    • Forum detailing current practices in the region for orientation and career planning
    • Offer campuses the opportunity to pilot the intake and orientation framework with regional support for the fall of 2018, spring of 2019, summer 2019 or fall 2019
    • Completion of a pilot in at least one college on the shifting of career exploration before education planning, with follow-up plan to spread this practice
    • Embedding a question about “career area of interest” in counseling sessions, with plan for adoption among counselors

Leading Indicators

  • Completion of RFA process and awards made to colleges
  • Development or adoption of a student intake form, as needed, that captures critical information to support students’ entry into pathways or programs or referral to services.
  • Number of students completing a comprehensive intake process
  • Creation of a college orientation program, as needed, that includes career exploration; targeted exposure to pathways, programs, and services; and a face-to-face component, in addition to an online component.
  • Number of students participating in orientation programs that include career exploration, targeted exposure to pathways, programs, and services; and a face-to-face component, in addition to an online component.
  • Number of students completing career exploration activities, including career planning sessions, before education planning
  • Number of students attending initial counseling sessions
  • Number of students attending follow-up sessions
  • Number of students attending Education Plan Update sessions
  • Number of professionals participating in professional development to address needs identified in self-assessments and consultations
  • Materials gathered
  • Repository created

Workgroup Materials and Resources

  • Resource library
  • Breakthrough episodes

Please visit the Resources to find meeting agendas, materials and minutes.