Pathways are example templates for students or advisors, showing how a program or combination of programs could be completed, with courses laid out by term. Stellic supports enhanced Pathway functionality to guides students throughout their broader academic journey. We detail what Pathways are and how to build them in related articles - this article is intended to provide some best practices in how to use and design Pathways at your institution.
Step 1: Gather Information
Approach A: Start from Career Outcomes
With this option, you can start from the end goal in mind and map backward.
Which are the most popular career options your graduates pursue?
What did they study and experience while at your institution that led them toward that career?
What additional on-campus and off-campus experiences and connections support their journey?
Consider the most popular career outcomes for your alumni.
- What programs did these alumni complete while at your institution? (Majors, minors, primary programs, certificates, specializations, concentrations, etc.)
- Identify key stakeholders, such advisors and department chairs, who are best equipped to answer questions about the journey these alumni took while at your institution to develop following:
- Recommended combination(s) of programs to lead toward this career outcome (For example, X Major + Y Minor for undergraduate programs, or A Program + B Certificate for graduate programs.) These will form the basis of the pathway and the recommended course sequence.
- List of co-curricular activities, such as volunteer opportunities, internships, work experiences, clubs, leadership roles, etc. These will form an additional layer within the pathway and can also include recommended sequence in line with courses.
- Additional information that could be included as custom fields. See Custom Field Ideas below. These will display below the recommended sequence of curricular and co-curricular content.
Approach B: Start from Academic Programs
With this option, you can start with your strongest and most engaged advocates on campus and leverage their knowledge and experience to develop Pathways to career success.
Identify key faculty leaders, such as department chairs, who are strong advocates for developing pathways. Work with these key stakeholders to gather information about the following:
Academic programs with high student engagement. Additional academic programs, such as certificates or minors, often pursued by students in these academic programs. These will form the basis of the pathway and the recommended course sequence.
Internships, career opportunities, and other post-graduate opportunities commonly pursued by or recommended for students in these academic programs. These will form an additional layer within the pathway and can also include recommended sequence in line with courses.
Additional information that could be included as custom fields. See Custom Field Ideas below. These will display below the recommended sequence of curricular and co-curricular content.
Step 2: Build initial pathways in Stellic
Using Stellic’s interactive pathway builder, create pathways. Generally curriculum experts, such as department chairs or advisors, are best equipped to build out pathways. Guidelines and resources are available here. Contact your Stellic admin for any desired training on best practices for pathway building and to make any adjustments to the permissions needed to build and publish pathways.
Note: When building holistic pathways, it is best practice to set pathways to Public and not auto applied. This allows students and advisors to browse available pathways and select those which best align to the students’ interests.
Step 3: Provide Custom Field Preferences to Stellic
The possibilities are limitless. Once you submit your request for field names and types, the Stellic team will populate your pathways with the custom field names, descriptions, and general structure. Data format structure is available here.
Note: It is recommended that you develop a plan for Custom Fields that will scale across your institution and work in many programs. This can happen before or after initial pathways are built in Stellic.
Custom Field ideas:
- Alumni mentors
- Faculty in the field
- Potential external mentors
- Potential employers
- Scholarship & fellowship opportunities
- Professional associations
- Languages beneficial in the field
- Career sectors
- Suggested dual degrees or additional programs to pursue
- Internship opportunities
- Student groups or clubs
- Leadership positions
- Service or volunteer opportunities
- Clinical sites
- Licensure and testing requirements
And more! The possibilities are limitless.
Step 4: Populate Custom Fields with preferred content
After the Stellic team has loaded the custom fields into your pathways, you will then populate these fields with your desired content.