First off, wow! I don't think I would have guessed that there are approximately 1,500 two-year colleges in the United States.

So, to be named one of only 16 of those schools as an elite cohort "implementing reforms to streamline the student education experience" is pretty impressive. Yep, a remarkable achievement for the University of Montana's Missoula College. And while some of the terms and designations might sound a bit foreign to you (they were to me), there is no doubt that a lot of prestige accompanies the honor.

UM News Service tells us that the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement chose the Missoula College as one of only 16 two-year institutions to implement evidence-based reforms grounded in what is known as the “Guided Pathways” framework.


Think of it as rather than students preparing for college, it's college preparing for students. Dr. Tom Gallagher, Dean of Missoula College, explained to UM News Service that Guided Pathways provides a game plan to "redesign institutional processes with the clear goal of preparing colleges to serve students."


Guided Pathways is intended to streamline the two-year college experience for students, with more attention to structured choices, support and a fulfilling outcome. The notion that  only completing a two-year college lacks status and a solid future is definitely off the table. Through Guided Pathway, Missoula College is helping shatter those stereotypes and clearing a path to for students to leave fully prepared for post-college success.


Representatives from Missoula College recently met with representatives from the 15 other colleges at a conference in Birmingham, Alabama, to connect on advancing programming and building more community stakeholders. During the meeting, the leaders from across the country examined how to better appeal to perspective students, and show them what a rewarding experience a two-year college can be. And by stepping their game, partnering with more local businesses when it comes to recruitment.

Bravo to Missoula College for being at the forefront of this endeavor!

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