Guided Pathways to Success

Navigating college can be confusing, especially if you are the first in your family to attend. There are lots of moving parts: You need to apply for financial aid, choose cou​rses that lead to a degree and maybe even find tutoring. You also must make important decisions, like what career you want to pursue.

Luckily, you don't have to take these steps alone or make these big decisions without support. By offering guided pathways, we help you stay on track to graduate quickly and affordably and identify a career path that aligns with your interests. Your guided pathway is your tool to guide you through community college, and your pathways advisor will help you use this tool effectively.

Which Guided Pathway should I choose?

Start by meeting with a success coach. They will review your career assessment results with you and show you how your interests align with various career paths. Your pathways advisor will then help you make decisions about your guided pathway. They will assist you in planning your schedule, choosing courses and ultimately planning your career.

There are seven career paths offered at Dallas College:

Each career path has similar programs grouped beneath it. (For example, the Health Sciences career path includes the Veterinary, Medical Laboratory and Invasive Cardiovascular Technology programs.) Each program has a degree plan you can follow, and many programs also offer a specific guided pathway.

Once you choose a career path, your next step is to choose which guided pathway within the career path is the best fit for you. Your success coach is happy to meet with you to discuss your academic goals. Likewise, your career and transfer specialist is eager to meet with you to discuss your career goals. Both have tools to help you pick the right guided pathway and map out your future.

What's the difference between a degree plan and a guided pathway?

Let's use a real-life example to understand the difference between a degree plan and a guided pathway.

A degree plan is like a restaurant menu. It shows you all the different classes you can pick from to complete your chosen certificate or degree. Options are great, but so many choices can also be overwhelming.

A guided pathway is more like the chef's recommendations. With specific items suggested for you, you do not have to make as many decisions about what to select. It can save you stress, time and money.

Why do I need a guided pathway?

A guided pathway is your reassurance that you are on the right path to receive the right training for your bright future. It is central to your college success. A guided pathway can help you set academic goals based on your career and/or transfer interests, develop a firm plan to reach those goals and stay on track at college.

A guided pathway is also a great tool to lead discussions between you, your advisor and your career coach.