Pearl River Community College
Pearl River Community College

How technology and curriculum reform help empower students


Simplify and improve degree planning and advising as part of a pathways initiative

  • A 3.8% increase in year-over-year retention
  • Improved student self-service and progress monitoring
  • Enhanced advising

Pearl River Community College uses Ellucian Degree Works and guided pathways to help students reach their goals

Committed to improving student success and spurred by a state mandate, Pearl River Community College (PRCC) is combining the latest in higher education technology and evidence-based curriculum reform in the form of guided pathways.

In its effort to guide more of its students toward successful outcomes—from degree completion to transfer to updated skills leading to gainful employment—PRCC has streamlined its course offerings into eight plans of study, or “meta-majors.” That has helped narrow down the huge array of courses and majors that can be overwhelming and hard to navigate.

To help students stay on track, PRCC focused on strengthening its advising and degree-planning processes—two critical elements of the guided pathways model. So the college gave its busy advisors better tools and more holistic insight into their advisees’ progress. It also reduced barriers to transfer while giving students more targeted guidance and greater visibility into their degree progress.

Just one year into its reforms, Pearl River is seeing results. With widespread approval from students, staff, and faculty members, the college has already seen a 3.8 percent* increase in first-year, full-time retention rates.

Download this case to study learn more about how Pearl River used its ERP system and a degree-planning tool to implement guided pathways, improve advising, and help students navigate their degree progress.

I am an advocate for Degree Works. If a school wants to implement the concept of pathways, it’s almost a no-brainer.

Martha Lou Smith, vice president for general education and technology services, Pearl River Community College

Degree Works lets me be more independent instead of me being dependent on my advisor. It lets me choose my classes instead of letting someone else help me, making me be more responsible.

Jonathan Dixon, sophomore, Pearl River Community College

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