Volume 4 | May 2018
Dr. Erica Orians, Executive Director at the Michigan Center for Student Success, provides an overview of the agenda at the Guided Pathways Summit. 
On Friday, May 18 th more than 200 faculty and staff members came together from across the state to take part in the first ever guided pathways summit. Representatives participated from all 15 public universities, 10 independent colleges and all 28 community colleges throughout Michigan. In addition to faculty members transfer liaisons were also included in this process. Transfer liaisons are institutionally designated professionals who support faculty on transfer issues, serve as a point of contact for the project, and help navigate policies at their institutions. All materials from the Summit are available on the website. 

The goal of the summit was to identify required, recommended, optional and appropriate courses that meet associate and bachelor’s degree program requirements, especially in major-specific courses and program electives. Ultimately, building guided pathways from community colleges to universities will make the transfer process easier to understand, more efficient, and simpler for students to navigate.

Operating assumptions for this work included:

  • Required, recommended, optional, and appropriate courses are those courses that students should complete early in the program, assuming that the student has selected a major. 

  • Courses in the first- and second- year or courses that meet associate degree requirements are terms we use interchangeably to refer to courses students complete in the first 60 credit hours. Some students will enroll part-time and enroll for longer to complete the associate degree and the courses.

  • This activity focuses on students who intend to earn a bachelor’s degree. There are occupational programs at the associate degree level in some disciplines (i.e. business or police academy), however the focus of this meeting was on the transfer associate degree and bachelor’s degree requirements.

The Transfer Pathways Summit is a product of the Transfer Steering Committee (TSC). In the fall of 2016, Michigan community colleges and universities established the TSC with representatives from more than 30 colleges and universities to guide this work. The Transfer Steering Committee also includes members from the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO).

Last June the TSC determined four majors to discuss as for developing pathways. 
Mathematics Pathways were also a focus of the guided pathways summit. A mathematics pathway is a mathematics course or sequence of courses that students take to meet the requirements of their programs of study.

The concept of math pathways applies to both college-ready and underprepared students. The intent of Mathematics pathways is to align mathematics content with students’ career and life needs. For example, students in many bachelor’s degree programs will not need Calculus or even an algebraically intensive mathematics course such as College Algebra. Questions asked concerning math pathways included:

  • What meta-major or career cluster does the program fit into?
  • What math skills will students be expected to apply in the workplace?
  • Do current math requirements develop these skills?
  • What is the minimum math level needed to gain meaningful access to the program?
  • Does the program require math skills from more than one pathway?
  • What math skills do students need to complete upper division course requirements?
  • Are there any “hidden prerequisites” for courses in this program?
The Guided Pathways efforts are funded by an appropriation signed into the FY 2018 budget by Governor Snyder. This work is part of a cross-sector, multi-institutional initiative being conducted by the Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU) and the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA) who provide leadership on issues affecting Michigan’s Community Colleges. Staff from the Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities (MICU) association are also facilitating the Pathways agenda on behalf of its member institutions.

Other related transfer initiatives include:

  • Replacing the Michigan Transfer Network
  • Increasing awards of academic credit for military experience
  • Spotlighting best practices to improve transfer student success
  • Producing and utilize data on transfer student outcomes
Transfer Pathways Recap Webinar on May 29 th
MASU, MCCA, and MICU hosted a successful MiTransfer Pathways Summit with over 200 faculty and staff members from biology, business administration, criminal justice, and psychology on Friday, May 18. All meeting materials are available on the project website . Institutions with faculty or staff members who missed the Summit but would like to participate in the development of the statewide agreements should join a webinar on Tuesday, May 29 at 3-4 pm , click here to register . The webinar will re-cap the activities of the day and share next steps for colleges. A recording of the webinar will be available for those unable to attend.  
Transfer Pathways – Next Steps 
Intermediary work (Summer and Fall 2018)
Between convenings in the spring and fall, faculty will update direct equivalencies for transfer courses and develop program plans with the support of transfer liaisons as the work to develop the statewide agreements advances.
MiTransfer Pathways Faculty Summit II (Fall 2018)
During these meetings, faculty groups will finalize the recommended program requirements of the statewide agreement for their program of study and discuss other non-course program requirements. Prior to that, the participants will complete their corresponding community college worksheet or university worksheet. The Fall convening will encourage participants to work with partners to establish direct course equivalencies and report updated equivalencies. Communications regarding this meeting will be forthcoming.
Articulation agreement development (Fall 2018 -Winter 2019)
Institutions will make adjustments necessary to execute their participation in the statewide agreements and prepare for Fall 2019 implementation of the pathways.
Articulation agreement signing ceremony (Anticipated Spring 2019)
A signing ceremony will cap off the development of our Phase I MiTransfer Pathways.
Michigan Transfer Network Request for Proposals
With support from the state of Michigan, the Transfer Steering Committee is replacing the Michigan Transfer Network. A Request for Proposals was released on May 9 th . The RFP and other information is available on the website . Contact Erica Orians with questions about the RFP.  
A multitude of stakeholders at Michigan’s colleges and universities are enthusiastically engaging in the work of advancing the statewide student transfer agenda. Staff at MCCA, MASU and MICU are eager to harness this energy and to produce tangible results that will improve transparency and efficiency in the transfer process, while maintaining high-quality instructional delivery and student outcomes.

If you have questions or comments you wish to share as it involves advancing the student transfer and student success in Michigan, you are encouraged to contact a member of the Transfer Steering Committee . You are also encouraged to contact Erica Orians at the MCCA, Will Emerson at MASU, or Colby Cesaro at MICU; they are serving as the primary project coordinators and staff liaisons for the MTN replacement and degree pathways initiatives.           
Erica Lee Orians, Ph.D.                               
Executive Director, Center for Student Success          
Michigan Community College Association                                
517-372-4350 /  eorians@mcca.org          

Will Emerson, Ph.D.
Director of Student Success Initiatives
Michigan Association of State Universities               
517-482-1563 /  wemerson@masu.org   

Colby Cesaro
Vice President
Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities
734-646-4670 / ccesaro@micolleges.org