Guided Pathways Advising Through Coaching

Academic Level
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support,
Institutional Change


Guided Pathways provides students with personalized, proactive advising to help them select an academic path, persist, and graduate. The goals of the program are to create a model where advisors coach students to develop agency in creating their academic path, foster student–advisor relationships through timely nudging at critical points, and helping students navigate resources to support their success. The tangible goals for the program are to increase persistence rates, and ultimately increase graduation rates of all students, especially Hispanic students.

Program Description

In early 2012, Guided Pathways began transforming academic advising by moving from a paper-advising process to a digital one. This provided a way to evaluate the effectiveness of advising and provided students a way to track their degree progress. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), ACC was selected to be an Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (IPASS) college, providing funds to co-develop Degree Map. This work expanded with the advent of Guided Pathways in 2016 and offered a framework to create areas of study (AoS), advising specialties, caseloads, and AoS information sessions.

In 2017, ACC was selected to partner with Inside Track for a 3-year partnership, again supported by the BMGF. During this time, advisors received rigorous professional development in adopting a Coaching Model.  Services include case managing 10,000 students with less than 12 hours.  Students receive at least 5 touch points (i.e. in-person, email, text, call) through the semester. They also receive referrals to internal/external resources.  A 65-page comprehensive Academic Coaching Manual informs this work. 


About 10,000 first time at ACC (FTACC) students with less than 12 credit hours are case managed, where advisors interact with their caseload a minimum of 5 times a term, encouraging tutoring, student engagement, and continued registration.

In analyzing first time in college (FTIC) student cohorts baseline data (Fall 2015) and present (Fall 2018) we have seen retention rise to 80% from Fall to Spring.

Hispanic male students improved to 79% retention during this time.

From 2015 to 2018, full-time FTIC students (graduation cohort) improved their first term GPA to 75% earning above 2.0.