Student Voices - Pathway to the Baccalaureate, Northern Virginia Community College

Pathway to the Baccalaureate was launched to support the growing population of traditional-aged students in Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) who demonstrate substantial barriers to college access and completion. Funding, services and in-kind support from ten K-16 partners provides selected students with a coordinated, inter-institutional service network to address academic and navigational barriers to higher education. Students are provided with a seamless transition from high school diploma to an associate’s degree at NOVA to baccalaureate completion at George Mason University (GMU) or another university of the student’s choice. Pathway’s service model builds social capital through peer, family, and community engagement, coupled with intrusive, case management advising and a career pathways framework. The program has grown from 14 high schools in two school systems to 60 high schools in nine school systems across Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. Of the 11,000 participants in Pathway, 93% represent one or more underserved student populations, and 45% self-identify as Latino. Through the joint efforts of institutional partners, they have demonstrated a strong, collective impact that paves the pathway to college access, success, and excellence for Northern Virginia’s underserved student populations. 

Pathway’s mission is to ensure students in their region who demonstrate the desire and capacity to achieve a baccalaureate degree, but who have barriers to post-secondary attainment are provided with the individualized, structured resources and support they need to pave their own pathway to college success and excellence.