PCC Pathways

Academic Level
Issue Area
Academic Program
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support


In 2010 Pasadena City College’s research office reported on a cohort of developmental education students who were tracked for six years. Findings revealed that almost 20% dropped out in their first year and that 65% had no discernible milestone. In 2011, in response to the dismal findings, PCC created PCC Pathways. Pathway program components include:Summer Bridge: Jam, a one-week, no-cost orientation program, which serves as the entry point to college and the program;Priority Registration: Pathways students are required to enroll in and are guaranteed a full-time schedule, including English and math, in the fall and spring semesters;The Student Success Team: counselors, coaches, and peer tutors; andCollege 1 (a first year seminar) and “One Book, One College.” In 2016-2017 more than 2,100 students were enrolled in Year 1 of PCC Pathways and more than 750 students were enrolled in Year 2; approximately 57% were Latino. Aspects of this program were replicated from the .XL Summer Bridge/First-Year Experience Program which was previously recognized as a Finalist for Examples of Excelencia in 2009.

Program Description

PCC Pathways aims to serve students throughout their stay at the college by providing support in and out of the classroom. It is particularly dedicated to students of color, many of who are under-prepared for college-level work. It does so by providing students with the courses they need and comprehensive, wrap-around support services. Pathways goals include: Engagement with the campus community, Effective use of resources, Successful completion of academic goals in a timely manner, and Increased knowledge of the major/career relationship.


Research reveals that PCC Pathways is closing the achievement gap for Latino students and moving students closer to completion. For the Fall 2012 cohort (Pathways Latino n=620; non-Pathways Latino n=2,053):

  • Latino Pathways students earned more credits in year 1 compared to Latino non-Pathways students (18.6 vs. 7.8 credits).
  • Latino Pathways students persisted to year 2 at higher rates compared to Latino non-Pathways students (81% vs. 37%).
  • After three years, a significantly higher proportion of Latino students in Pathways achieved transfer-prepared status compared to non-Pathways Latino students (15% vs. 4%)
  • Course taking data reveals that PCC Pathways students appear to be progressing through developmental math sequence at a faster rate than other first-year students.