Integrating Guided Pathways and Learning Communities to Enhance Student Retention

Last updated August 18, 2022

Integrating Guided Pathways and Learning Communities to Enhance Student Retention

Last updated August 18, 2022

Bridge the gap between the classroom and the co-curricular experience by integrating guided pathways and learning communities.


Many institutions have turned to guided pathways to increase retention and generate momentum for a degree path among their students. Other institutions, meanwhile, have offered learning communities (LCs) for years, in the form of residential LCs, linked-course communities, residential colleges or coordinated studies programs, as a way to develop a sense of community and foster collaboration between faculty and students. However, few institutions truly integrate the two to create a degree path that intersects learning community coursework with core and major curriculum while extending learning beyond the classroom. As students increasingly question the value of a college degree, using both strategies in tandem can show students how their entire college journey contributes to their future goals.

Join us for an interactive two-hour virtual training on integrating guided pathways and learning communities as a way to boost student engagement and retention. Our accomplished speakers, Dr. Richie Gebauer and Dr. Michelle Filling-Brown from Cabrini University, will guide you through establishing a shared purpose that drives the integration of guided pathways and learning community efforts while also addressing challenges that may arise in the marriage of these initiatives. You will further learn why integrating the two can work in your institution’s favor and have the opportunity to brainstorm ways to start the process on your own campus.

Who should attend?

This training will benefit student success professionals, faculty, and academic leaders from both two-year and four-year institutions who are focused on guided pathways, learning communities, or how to integrate these two initiatives.


November 4, 2022

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET

An Introduction to Guided Pathways and Learning Communities

You will first learn how guided pathways and learning communities have been used by institutions to increase retention. You will then begin to envision how the two initiatives can be integrated into one strategy for bridging the gap between learning community coursework, core curriculum, and major pathways.

Integrating Guided Pathways and Learning Communities

For the bulk of the session, our facilitators will discuss how guided pathways and learning communities can complement and intersect with each other, using Cabrini University as an example. Integrating the two is a complex endeavor, so our facilitators will walk you through the challenges and core considerations in each of the following areas:

  • Core curriculum revision
  • Faculty governance
  • Technology
  • Cost savings
  • Advising
  • Transfer pathways
  • Bridging students from the core curriculum to their majors

You will have the opportunity here to discuss the added value and challenges brought forth when you create synergy between guided pathways and learning communities, and you’ll also brainstorm ways to create harmony between these two efforts on your campus. Through discussion with similar institutions, you will be able to apply this directly to your own institutional context and start to map out what an integration strategy could look like for you.