Community College Research Initiatives

Coaching for Change

Since 2017, CCRI has partnered with Jobs for the Future (JFF) on the Student Success Center Network (SSCN) Guided Pathways Coaching program to support Student Success Center’s (SSC) in operationalizing and developing their state-designed coaching plans for guided pathways implementation (at scale) among other reform efforts. These coaching plans improve student success by strategically utilizing applied research, technical assistance, professional development, and various collaborative knowledge-sharing strategies. As a national partner of JFF for the SSCN, the Coaching for Change (C4C) project supports collaboration with Student Success Center (SSC) executive and assistant directors nationwide to advance statewide coaching initiatives. 

Resources and Tools

Coaching for Change (C4C) materials for Student Success Centers (SSCs):


Getting Started
Getting Started: A webinar on how coaches can facilitate institutional change. Provides sample action plans, tips, and emphasizes the need for evidence to determine if change is happening.

College Engagement
College Engagement: A webinar for colleges using coaches for institutional change and the coaches. Provides do’s and don’ts around coaching-for-change and mock schedules for site visits.

Reflection on Initial Lessons
Initial Lessons: A webinar providing space and techniques for individual and group reflection on coaching efforts.

SSCN Guided Pathways Coaching Pilot
Webinar on coaching pilot and CCRI findings with a focus on three Student Success Centers.

Reflective Questions Tools

Reflective Questions Tools
Reflective questions for coaches and community colleges on Evidence-based coaching for change.


Evidence-based Coaching for Change Brief
This brief provides theories, perspectives and insights into evidence-based coaching for 2-year colleges to implement, continuously improve, and sustain coaching that focuses on improving performance and results in more equitable outcomes for students.

Equity-Minded Change Leadership
There are many ways to think about change leadership and many theories to describe how it should work. Many promote the notion that leaders who readily adapt to new circumstances are most successful in changing their organizations, but this is only part of the necessary skill set. This brief discusses equity-minded change leadership that identifies institutional and systemic causes of inequities in student outcomes to bring about real change.

Lessons Learned from the SSCN Coaching Pilot Program
CCRI presents lessons learned from the Assessment, Research, and Coaching Pilot for the Student Success Center Network on what the Centers are doing with coaching to support guided pathways implementation.

Examples of designs from the SSCN coaching pilot program:

The New Jersey Center for Student Success was developed to support the state’s 19 community colleges with advancing their guided pathways and college readiness work. Seven coaches and 12 colleges were selected to be part of the pilot, resulting in 9 key strategies for coaching design.

The North Carolina Student Success Center created Networked Improvement Communities (NICs) to accelerate learning and advance student success reforms, increase statewide capacity, and sustain improvements. Their pilot audience included 17 of the state’s 58 community colleges.

The New York Student Success Center adopted a coaching model with two national (lead) coaches training five state coaches in supporting their colleges and building in-state capacity.

The Oregon Student Success Center led the development of an overarching transformational goal for all Oregon community colleges to optimize student success via a coaching model implemented over three cohorts.

Other Coaching Resources

Guided Pathways Resource Center
AACC provides resources and tools for the full guided pathways model, toolkits for institutes, leaders, engagement and coaching.

What Are We Learning About Guided Pathways
In spring 2018, this practitioner packet looks at what implementing guided pathways entails, along with promising evidence from early adopters since guided pathways reforms were first introduced in 2015.