College Earns Student Engagement Innovation Grant to Support Scaling Guided Pathways

Feb 08
Student Engagement

Riverside City College is dedicated to transforming and redesigning its institution to increase student success. Through redesign efforts, over the past three years, it was realized that the student voice is critical for the implementation process; therefore a Guided Pathways Student (GPS) Ambassador program was created.

College leaders recently submitted a proposal for the Student Engagement Innovation Grant by the Foundation for California Community Colleges in partnership with the Guided Pathways Implementation Team. RCC was successful in earning the $5,000 award to fund six GPS ambassadors who will support scaling the College’s Guided Pathways initiative.

The grant-funded ambassadors serve on College committees providing valuable feedback and insight into the student experience. Their involvements and knowledge will help committees make informed decisions on how to better support students, specifically in targeted equity groups, as well as their academic needs.

“I am eager to bring a student perspective to the college’s effort,” said Sydni Marquardt, Guiding Pathways student ambassador. “Our ideas and opinions are critical, and through our voice we can help students succeed not only in college, but in the world we live in.”

“We are excited to fully immerse students into our committee work and our institutional redesign conversations,” Monique Greene, Ed.D., Guided Pathways coordinator said. “They are working on projects that will influence student success and increase student engagement across the institution.”  

The ambassadors and College and District representatives are working side-by-side on co-designing outreach campaigns and other on-boarding processes for incoming students. 

“The work that the students have participated in thus far has opened our eyes to the fact that student voice is needed to impact change, and this grant funding will help us do exactly that,” Greene added. “With this project we will create a model for long-term student leadership and development and ensure our redesign efforts are equity-minded and student-centered.”

The Student Engagement Innovation Grant is designed to help community colleges experiment with and pilot innovations that amplify students’ voices equitably, particularly in the design and implementation of Guided Pathways efforts. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has further highlighted social and racial inequities, deploying innovative approaches is particularly important, as colleges transitioned to primarily virtual instruction, governance, and collaboration.