Integrating Guided Pathways and Learning Communities to Enhance Student Retention



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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.   

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions


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.


Portrait of Michelle Filling-Brown

Michelle Filling-Brown

Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Professor, Cabrini University

Dr. Michelle Filling-Brown currently serves as the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and is a Professor at Cabrini University. Her scholarship focuses on the Living and Learning Communities, best practices in teaching writing, social-justice education, and Body Studies. She has a passion for helping colleagues to build learning communities, strengthen assessment plans, and increase retention through high-impact practices. Through the support of three grants from the Katherine Alexandra Foundation, Michelle is the founding editor of the Body Studies Journal and the founder of the National Undergraduate Body Image Conference.

Read Michelle's Full Bio.

Portrait of Richie Gebauer

Richie Gebauer

Assistant Dean for Retention and Student Success, Cabrini University

Richie Gebauer is the Assistant Dean for Retention and Student Success at Cabrini University and serves as Faculty Director of the IMPACT Living Learning Community. As the founding director of the university’s First Year experience and Learning Community program, retention and persistence are at the center of his work. He is a past president of the National Learning Community Association and has served on the editorial review board for the Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, Learning Communities Research and Practice, and E-Source for College Transitions.

Read Richie's Full Bio.


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