Their Approach

With the goal of lifting the voices of populations identified in its Student Equity Plan as showing an achievement gap, City College of San Francisco focused on engaging students in those groups and bringing them into the conversations around Guided Pathways redesign at the college. CCSF’s Guided Pathways team, named the Re-imagining the Student Experience (RiSE) team, included students on committees such as curriculum, facilities, and deans and chairs, and it included students in the full Guided Pathways team meetings in order to empower them, support them as leaders, and highlight their insights for college planning.

What They Did

CCSF hired an advisory team of 10 students representing all of the populations identified in the Student Equity Plan. Each advisory team member participates on at least one Guided Pathways committee, works on a student-led project, and supports the RiSE Team at Guided Pathways workshops and presentations. In weekly meetings, advisory team members reflect on other meetings they have participated in, receive guidance, and plan upcoming work. At Guided Pathways team meetings, when processes don’t make sense to them, these students have played a critical role in ensuring that redesign focuses on students by raised questions that organically challenge the status quo and offering their own experiences.

Student advisors’ projects have included a podcast exploring why students attempt and graduate with so many units and managing suggestion boxes where students and staff can propose ways to improve the college. RiSE student advisors will also speak on a panel at the opening convocation for the Fall 2019 semester.

What They Learned

Including the full range of student voices in planning conversations at multiple levels has enabled the RiSE team at CCSF to start changing the culture of the college. The team has learned that concerns are longer ignored or dismissed as anecdotal or hearsay when faculty, staff, and administrators hear directly from students. RiSE has also learned that training students as leaders of the college—and supporting and guiding them in meetings with faculty, staff, and administrators—fosters meaningful conversations with an expediency and empathy that can’t be replicated.

City College of San FranciscoCity College of San Francisco Logo
50 Frida Kahlo Way, San Francisco, California 94112