Spring Convocation Focuses on Guided Pathways

Celebration, kindness, laughs and learning sums up much of the 2018 Spring Convocation on Friday, January 26.

More than 450 faculty and staff gathered in the Campus Theatre for the spring semester opening event where the discussion focused on the state’s new Guided Pathways initiative. Convocation also included updates from leadership at Fullerton College, including President Greg Schulz, Faculty Senate President Josh Ashenmiller and Classified Senate President Marwin Luminarias.

The event celebrated Fullerton College’s new ranking as the No. 1 community college in transfers to the California State University system for 2016-2017. The day also celebrated the football team’s back-to-back state and national championship wins with a video and speech by Coach Tim Byrnes.

Additionally, Jennifer Merchant and Heather Skratulia presented on the Kindness Campaign, led by the Classified Senate. Students in the Fullerton College Jazz Combo, under the leadership of Michael Scott, provided live music.

NOCCCD Chancellor Cheryl Marshall relayed her greetings via video where she covered a number of topics such as the Supplemental Early Retirement Incentive Program, Accreditation, district reorganization and new state funding models.

While many topics and news were shared at Convocation, Guided Pathways was the focus for much of the event. Rather than just diving into the nuts and bolts of the latest initiative from Sacramento, the program took an offbeat approach with a “Between Two Ferns” parody video featuring Professor Joe Carrithers and Counselor Heather Halverson. In the three-minute video Between Two Plants, Carrithers leads a misguided interview about Guided Pathways with Halverson.

The video led into a real Q&A at Convocation between Carrithers and Theresa Tena, Executive Vice Chancellor Institutional Effectiveness and Innovation at the CCC Chancellor’s Office, and Janet Fulks, Bakersfield College faculty member and ASCCC Faculty Lead on Guided Pathways Capacity Building.

Guided Pathways has been a hot topic since the Governor’s 2017-2018 budget included $150 million in one-time grants to seed the expansion of the Guided Pathways framework across the California Community Colleges over the next five years. “The California Guided Pathways Model is an integrated, institution-wide approach to student success based on intentionally designed, clear, coherent and structured educational experiences, informed by available evidence, that guide each student effectively and efficiently from her/his point of entry through to attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials and careers with value in the labor market,” according to the Guided Pathways website.

Following the Convocation, dozens of faculty and staff participated in breakout sessions that focused on developing the college’s Guided Pathways plan, which is due to the state Chancellor’s Office in late March. The plan will be informed by the Guided Pathways self-assessment that the college completed last fall.

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Author: Fullerton College

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