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ACC Pathways Team Reimagine Onboarding

The ACC Pathways team recently took part in a conference to learn more about advancements on introducing students to higher education.

The fourth Texas Pathways Institute theme was Onboarding Reimagined and was held on November 3-5 in Dallas.

A team of nine ACC administrators spent time developing goals and action items to streamline the onboarding process for all ACC students to include Continuing Education and Workforce Development students.

“Attending my first Pathways Institute provided an amazing opportunity to gain an understanding of the scope and power of this work,” said ACC President Dr. Robert J. Exley, a member of the Pathways Team. “I am excited about how our QEP integrates with the Pathways to maximize student achievement and success.”

Based on the American Association of Community College (AACC) Pathways Model, Texas Pathways is an integrated, system-wide approach to student success based on intentionally designed and clearly structured educational experiences that guide each student effectively and efficiently from the selection of their high school endorsement to entry into higher education and attainment of high-quality credentials and careers.

“The team is excited to share the goals with others at ACC and begin the work to further enhance student success,” said Dr. Jessica Ranero-Ramirez, ACC College and Career Pathways director.

The ACC Pathways team who participated in the Institute include: Vice President of Student Services Dr. Jade Borne, Vice President of Instruction Dr. Cindy Griffith, Dean of Student Support Services Dr. Akilah Martin, Dean of Continuing Education Workforce Development Chris Roche, Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research Dr. Pam Shefman, Director of Business and Technology Programs Sarah Harrel, Director of Student Success and Advising Holly Williams, Exley and Ranero-Ramirez.

“Pathways are vital for student success,” Griffith said. “Onboarding students properly is an important step to ensuring that they achieve their educational goals.”

Two institutes are held each year and they focus on critical aspects of institutional change and pathway design and implementation, Ranero-Ramirez said.

“Each institute requires advance work and results in action plans developed by college teams,” Ranero-Ramirez said. “The institute format combines discussions with experts, technical assistance, and facilitated discussion and planning sessions for college teams.”

Coaches with expertise in guided pathways support college teams throughout their reform work, she said.

The three goals for the Institute were: to help more students gain early momentum, by reimagining new student onboarding at multiple starting points and goals with a focus on helping students pursue their interests, strengths, and aspirations; to help students choose a program and build a plan that shows the courses and timeline for completion of Adult Education and Literacy, micro-credential, certificate, degree, and further education without loss of time and credit; and to develop procedures to seamlessly enable students to move from the first day of class as they enter into a program leading to a high demand occupation with family-sustaining wages and further education.

The institute is sponsored by the Texas Success Center and the Texas Association of Community Colleges.

For more information regarding Texas Pathways, please visit