Adam Breerwood
Pearl River Community College

Giving students a clear pathway to success

Challenge

Guide students to reach their career goals

Results
  • Increased retention rates
  • Empowered students to take control of their education
  • Improved advising model

Pearl River Community College implements guided pathways to help students reach their goals faster and with less debt

Adam Breerwood, President, Pearl River Community College

One of our top priorities, and always will remain a top priority, is just to try to offer our students an opportunity to succeed on a daily basis. A lot of our students with our Guided Pathways Programme, they show up and they really don't know what they want to do. They may have an interest in a specific area.

And we want to give them direction, but we don't want to force them into any specific programme. So we'll sit down with them and try to determine their areas of interest. But we also want to give them an exit strategy.

Life happens. Challenges happen. So if a student needs to get off after two years and get an associate's degree and get to work and then later come back and go to the university, we want to provide that.

Student loan debt in this country is continuing to grow. So we want to get them in and out as quickly as possible, make sure that they leave us in good financial shape. Since we have implemented Guided Pathways, our attention has gone up dramatically.

Degree Works, to me, has really been a game changer. It goes back to that affordability and efficiency. We don't want students to waste time. Now our students have an opportunity to have a very hands-on approach to their future, a very hands-on approach to the next step that they want to take in their life, and it also allows us the opportunity to use the limited resources we have for a better advisement model.

The birth tables in this country will tell you, especially in our area, that less students are coming to college. So I think it's essential for us at Pearl River Community College to try to make sure that not only we recruit students, but we retain them. And Degree Works has allowed us to become more efficient, to better serve that student, to make sure that we're giving them very clear direction.

It helps us with our goal setting. They can see it on a daily basis. One of the biggest challenges with community college students is, sometimes after six, eight, ten weeks, you know they run into some roadblocks. They run into some challenges, some obstacles. And I feel like Degree Works keeps that goal out in front of them where they can see a very clear pathway to success.

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