Funded by the Ford Foundation, the Center for Urban Education engaged in a developmental evaluation of the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College’s “Pathway for Academic, Career, and Transfer Success” (PACTS), a comprehensive reform initiative designed to integrate academic, assessment, and advisement services into a structured “pathway” that students can follow in order to earn certificates or degrees or become prepared for transfer to a four-year institution. CUE documented how PACTS performed on the ground at the college and built a knowledge base to (1) guide its implementation and give the innovation its best shot of success at it develops; (2) create subsequent academic pathways at Los Angeles Trade Tech, the other eight community colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District, and colleges in the other states—including those that are part of the Ford Foundation’s Corridors of Student Success.
CUE’s commitment to student equity led to an extended collaboration with Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC) that embarks on a comprehensive overhaul of a campus looking to “do well” for their students. LATTC is in the process of implementing comprehensive academic pathways campus wide. Discussions of academic pathways have surged as high schools and colleges are attempting to adapt a more holistic approach to serving diverse student populations. This initiative would entail centralizing student support services, faculty or other resources according to specific areas of focus. The idea and intention is that students would receive a seamless education and have all the resources and knowledge needed to be successful.
Through this new collaboration, CUE will coach LATTC’s leadership and faculty in onboarding, career and technical education, and basic English and math indicators of success, key areas for academic pathways in the college. Using an on-the-ground research strategy, CUE engages teams of faculty and staff through a structured process of examining data and qualitative inquiry to improve their practices and student success. By providing various kinds of competencies, knowledge and strategies, along with hands-on action research, CUE is confident that the college will reach its goal of transforming their college to better support student success.