campus partner(s)

Mesa Community College

Phoenix Community College

Gateway Community College

and South Mountain Community College






Faculty Planning and Curricular Coherence

award date


project director

Jennifer Fay; Steven Budge; Colleen Bivona

Mesa Community College; Maricopa County Community College District

Grant Summary

$300,000 over 36 months to the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) to support guided pathways, which are highly defined, structured, and coherent curricula leading to a postsecondary credential that research indicates are effective in attracting, retaining, and graduating low-income students. MCCCD is composed of ten individually accredited colleges. While there is standardization of degree and certificate policies, course learning objectives, and procedures to develop and revise curriculum across the district, each college makes independent decisions about degree and course offerings. As a result, duplication of degrees and courses has emerged both within individual colleges and across the district that presents challenges for students. Teams of faculty from four of the ten Maricopa colleges – Mesa, Phoenix, Gateway, and South Mountain – are coming together to reshape curricula as part of a larger district-wide push to implement guided pathways at scale. The work will unfold in phases, with these four colleges serving as leaders for their district. The colleges will organize degree and certificate programs that draw effectively on the liberal arts, even for programs that serve a vocational purpose. Individual degree and certificate programs will avoid course duplication and course selection will become a more straightforward process. The curricular revisions will be made with an eye to ensuring that students complete all 100- and 200-level requirements within 60 to 64 credits as set forth by the Arizona General Education Curriculum and MCCCD’s university transfer partners. The revisions also take into consideration limits on financial aid coverage as outlined by the U.S. Department of Education.