Bringing Student Voices to Guided Pathways Inquiry and Design: Findings from Student Focus Groups at Two California Community Colleges

August 29, 2017
“I’ve been guilty of this—and it is a common thing in here—where you take class after class and you kind of forget your end goal… but it would be great to have something tangible like a shadowing program or something else that would get you excited about picking a major.” 
– California Community College Student


To inform the guided pathways design process, the Career Ladders Project conducted sixteen focus groups with community college students to learn how students chose a major, selected courses and what they found to be helpful in navigating their college experience.

Our findings revealed that:

  • Students find choosing a major to be a difficult task that requires career exploration and an understanding of how different majors and careers connect.
  • Most students find choosing the right courses and getting into the courses they need to be challenging.
  • While students value support services when they can access them, many students were unaware of the available supports.
  • Students yearn for a sense of community, peer connection, and culturally relevant curriculum and experiences.
“At least for me, it was a lot of not knowing where to go. Like communications. Okay, where do you go from there? Do I become a professor? Do I work in TV? What kind of jobs do people have? It sounds corny, but are they happy in those jobs?”
– California Community College Student


Click here to read the full report.