As of January, students submitting an application through CCCApply at Cypress College are automatically redirected to the college’s customized MyPath interface. Students are welcomed and presented with suggested next steps, promoting a sense of belonging while they wait for further communication from a college enrollment advisor.
“We wanted to put information at the student’s fingertips about ‘What can I learn, what can I do while I wait to hear from the college,’” said Nicola Perry, a consultant currently working with Cypress College on Guided Pathways projects. Perry has supported student services efforts in the North Orange County Community College District for several years. “I am very happy to see how much student usage has increased.”
The number of tasks completed by students on track for fall enrollment has increased each month, with dramatic increases from March to April, when Cyprus College typically ramps up its outreach to high school seniors.
Advisor Cards Customizable for Each College
A key feature of MyPath is its customizable Advisor Cards, which allow colleges to present students with localized resources and ordered task lists. Cypress College cards feature campus welcome and introductory information, financial aid resources, career exploration, assessment and placement, counseling and various specialized support services. Within each card, a set of tasks directs students to resources to support them.
Elsewhere in the district, Fullerton College launched its own customized version of MyPath in February. It also reports encouraging usage trends - particularly related to next steps and new-student orientation tasks.
Like Cypress College, Fullerton College chose to highlight welcome, financial aid, counseling, careers and campus services. However, the information and tasks within each Advisor Card are specific to Fullerton College and the needs of its larger student population. Its Counseling and Advising card contains tasks for first-time college students and transfer and returning students, and the college designed a card for students nearing graduation.
“The usage numbers tell us what our students want to know before they come here. When that information is readily available and easy to find, we start with an informed consumer,” Perry said. “That’s what we want for our students.”
MyPath: Key Component of Student Onboarding Success
Perry noted that MyPath is an important and timely solution in light of Guided Pathways, more integrated onboarding systemwide and multiple measures usage to determine course placement. Observing in previous work that students responded more positively when given specific direction, Perry said that MyPath can support meaningful improvement in student completions and success by providing structured guidance to keep learners on track.
“In my work with Maricopa [Arizona] schools, I found that giving students ‘one-two-three’ worked best. MyPath takes the college’s information that is already there, simplifies it, and puts it in order for the student, at no cost to the college. To me, it was a no-brainer.”
Learn more about MyPath at CCCMyPathProject.org.