Guided Pathways to Success

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Guided Pathways to Success logo

GPS: Goals + Planning = Success is the Quality Enhancement Plan at Del Mar College which encompasses a broad umbrella of innovative initiatives. First and foremost, the intent of GPS is to help improve student degree/certificate attainment through a structure of eight instructional Pathways. Through these Pathways, students are given a map to meet their end goals. Also included in GPS are academic advising initiatives, such as a faculty and staff Online Academic Advising Certification course, which help provide a consistent advising experience across the eight instructional Pathways.

The eight Pathways are:

  • Architecture, Aviation, and Automotive
  • Business Administration and Entrepreneurship
  • Communication, Fine Arts, and Social Sciences
  • Health Sciences
  • Industrial Technology
  • Kinesiology and Education
  • Public Service
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)

Click here to reach an advisor and discuss your Pathway

The goals of the QEP are:

Goals Description
Goal 1 Clarify Career Goals
Provide structure and support for students who have not yet decided their educational paths and career goals.
Goal 2 Follow Consistent and Effective Advising Practices
Ensure that students enrolled in programs across all eight pathways receive consistent and effective advising services.
Goal 3 Improve Student Engagement
Use regular and ongoing advising to assist students’ progress toward completion of educational goals.
Goal 4 Strengthen Transfer Pathways
Strengthen pathways to four-year degrees.
Goal 5 Utilize Innovative Technology
Implement tools that allow students and advisors to monitor progress to completion of education and/or career goals.

Clarify Career Goals

Using the Pathways structure, provide students a clear map to reach their end goals, reinforced with early on-boarding processes to ensure they see the path to their certification or degree. In addition, Del Mar College seeks to provide structure and support for students who have not yet decided their educational paths and career goals.

Help students choose and enter a pathway

Utilize existing technology to help students explore career options linked to one of Del Mar College’s eight program pathways. This includes the use of Lightcast: Career Coach to help students select their Pathways of study.

Help students stay on the pathway

Through the coordinated efforts of the Guided Pathways Committee, advising checklists were developed to help ensure particular outcomes from advising meetings at the 15, 30, and 45 semester-hour checkpoints. These checklists have to move toward a more cohesive advising processes across the campus, but also allow an opportunity to educate students on the information and skills they need to move toward degree/certificate completion.

Key decision points on a student's Pathway

Connection Entry Progress Completion/Advancement
From interest to application From entry to passing program gatekeeper courses From program entry to completion of program requirements From program completion to career advancement and further education
  • What are my career options?
  • Which college offers programs in my field of interest?
  • How much will it cost, and how will I pay?
  • What are my program options?
  • What are the program requirements?
  • Which program is a good fit?
  • What will I take?
  • Will credits transfer?
  • How much time and money to finish?
  • What if I change my mind about a major?
  • Am I making progress?
  • What if I want to change majors?
  • How do I get related work experience?
  • What if I'm struggling academically?
  • How much time and money to complete?
  • How do I balance my other obligations?
  • How do I transfer?
  • How do I get a job in my field of interest?

Ensure students are learning

The intended outcomes of GPS: Goals + Planning = Success align with the goals established in the College’s most recent strategic plan, Aspire. Engage. Achieve. Strategic Plan 2019-2024. Through the QEP, the College seeks to improve the attainment of several student achievement indicators which are embedded within the strategic plan. The following student achievement indicators will be monitored yearly:

  • Number of degree and certificates awarded
  • Graduation rates (3-year, 4-year, 6-year rates)
  • Average time to complete an associate degree
  • Average semester credit hours attempted
  • Transfer to a four-year institution
  • Retention rates


Christine Muller
Faculty Coordinator of QEP

GPS SharePoint

Page last updated September 28, 2023.