Keynote Speaker 2014

The Tri-State Best Practices Conference Welcomes Keynote Speaker

“Start with the End in Mind:  Building Guided Pathways to Student Success”

Davis Jenkins, Senior Research Associate, Community College Research Center; Columbia University


In many community colleges, students are left to navigate a complex and often confusing array of programs, courses and support services mostly on their own. Many students do not see a clear path to their goals, become frustrated, and drop out. This presentation describes the efforts by a growing number of colleges and universities to redesign academic programs and support services in order to create more clearly structured and educationally coherent program pathways to student end goals, with integrated progress monitoring, feedback and support.  These efforts are being implemented on a large scale—in some cases benefiting thousands of students—and ideally involve strengthened pathways between community college and four-year programs as well as with employment.


Davis Jenkins is a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. He works with colleges and states to find ways to improve educational and employment outcomes for students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. A key focus of his work is how to better align programs and support services within and across institutions to create stronger pathways to completion of credentials, and to prepare students to succeed in further education and careers. His recent publications include: Get with the Program: Strategies for Accelerating Community College Students’ Entry into and Completion of Programs of Study and Redesigning Community Colleges for Completion: Lessons from Research on High-Performing Organizations. Davis has over 30 years of experience as a researcher, evaluator, consultant, and program manager on projects related to education and employment in the United States and abroad. He has a bachelor’s degree in Religion from Princeton University and Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from Carnegie Mellon University.