Sasan Poureetezadi took the position of interim college president of MCC this year.Former President Shouan Pan left to work as chancellor in Washington, which meant that MCC required someone to take on the administrative duties of the college presidency. “During my interim, of course, I am trying to move forward several of the things that we have been working on as a campus for the last couple of years,” Poureetezadi said.One of the critical elements of Poureetezadi’s agenda is the Guided Pathways to Student Success initiative (GPS).
“It has been based on national research that’s been done, to really promote student success, at the community colleges and universities,” Poureetezadi said.Poureetezadi gave some examples of other colleges implementing GPS programs around the country, and what their existence means for students. “Really the framework is about these deliberate pathways for students, so students can finish on time, with less extra credits, reduce costs; so it’s really helping students stay on track,” Poureetezadi said.
“If there needs to be interventions or support services wrapping those support services around these deliberate pathways,” he added.Poureetezadi said that this would be a guide for students to give them a clear idea of what it will take to earn a degree or certificate, and how long it will take. The nationwide application of GPS at various colleges and universities, as well as studies on the subject, has been carefully considered by the American Association of Community Colleges according to Poureetezadi.
Poureetezadi was unclear when GPS will begin to see application at MCC, due to the many variables that must be accounted for.“We’re still working on the fundamental constructs of it, and that’s really the important part,” Poureetezadi said. “We haven’t put a hard date on it, but definitely after the beginning of this new calendar year, I think we will be in a better position to look at setting some milestones and some timelines.”
Poureetezadi said that the sequencing of courses is essential to how the pathways will function, as predictable guides for navigating one’s academic career.