Our Paths module is a powerful tool to structure and measure student learning outside of the classroom. Paths allow campuses to guide users through intentionally designed experiences and lead them toward achieving specific competencies. Campuses identify relevant events, organizations, and experiences to their curriculum and track user participation through Paths. Users and administrators can then quickly record and review progress. 

Over 230 Engage campuses currently utilize the Paths tool to create customized and guided experiences for students. In this article, we highlight the most popular types of co-curricular Paths we see our campuses administering. You can use these descriptions as a framework to consider in pursuing a Path of each type, but we also encourage you to get creative and brainstorm with your consultant about designing the paths that best benefit your goals.

Campus Co-Curriculum
Career Development
Employee Training
First Year Experience
Involvement
Leadership
Diversity, Intercultural, and Social Justice Education
Organization Officer Training
Student Success
Other Departmental Paths

Campus Co-Curriculum

The campus co-curriculum is designed to be an organization of learning and experiential objectives a campus expects a student to meet by engaging in co-curricular programming. Objectives might be based on divisional learning outcomes or campus values. Utilizing Paths allows campuses to map specific programming to each objective. Generally, the campus co-curriculum takes place throughout the student's time at the institution and is not designed to have thorough administrative oversight. Students may not even complete the entire co-curriculum, but by enrolling students in the Path, the campus can track trends in engagement overall and reward those students who truly achieve during their time on campus. The co-curriculum also supports campus branding and educates students about how the activities they are participating in relate to campus mission and/or deliverable skills. 

Career Development

Career-oriented Paths can help students begin thinking about their careers and post-graduate plans early. They are often organized by milestone or academic year to help students understand a sensible sequencing through Career Services programs. Some career-oriented Paths also build in resume review and other hands-on activities, leaving students with a mini-portfolio they can utilize at the end of the Path. These Paths can also be incentivized with practical rewards for completion, such as padfolios, business cards, or even business professional clothing or accessories. 

Employee Training

Some campuses use Paths to organize the training expectations of their student employees. Effectively, students can visualize their progress through a training curriculum, while staff can ensure compliance, even when the training is flexible to accommodate a variety of learning styles and opportunities. Paths can even be used to create a common training curriculum for all student employees across departments, ensuring consistent messaging about campus mission while also permitting for the flexibility of different training needs. 

First Year Experience

First Year Experience Paths can start as early as orientation! Often used as a complement to a first-year experience or university 101 course, these Paths highlight the co-curricular experiences you hope your first-year students will pursue. These Paths can sometimes act as checklists or “to do lists” that are low-maintenance from an administrative standpoint but provide new students a valuable map of their early college experience.  

Involvement

An “involvement” oriented Path does not structure a curriculum, grouping, or order of opportunities, but simply encourages students to get engaged on campus in whatever way they see fit, and rewards them for higher levels of involvement.  

Leadership

Student Leadership certificates are the most common Path across all Engage campuses because certificate programs are often the perfect fit to implement within the tool. A student leadership certificate typically already has a core curriculum, usually a combination of required and elective workshops and activities. By creating a Path for their certificate, administrators can collectively track student progress towards receiving the certificate and provide students a transparent way to map their own progress and see which tasks or activities remain. Additionally, using a Path to manage participant progress allows administrators to oversee a much higher number of participants in the certificate program with greater ease and efficiency. These Paths are often structured around leadership theory or departmental learning outcomes.  

Diversity, Intercultural, and Social Justice Education

Similar to the Leadership Paths, these Paths often benefit from already having well-structured certificate programs on campus to follow. These programs typically involve attendance at a series of programs on campus as well as reflection opportunities. The Path also allows for offices focusing on diversity and social justice education to collaborate and provide one curriculum that involves programs or workshops across campus.

Organization Officer Training

Many campuses create Co-Curricular Paths designed to track student completion of required officer training. Some campuses track all officers together and set an expectation that every officer must complete the training. Other campuses assign a representative from each organization to track progress on behalf of their group, ensuring each organization has done what is necessary to remain active. Most of these Paths track in-person training, but some are completely online or hybrid. Typically, an organization officer training Path is an expectation in some way for organization registration approval, but more complex Paths often incorporate additional incentives, such as an increase in organization funding, certificates, access to additional space resources, or special marketing opportunities.

Student Success

Paths can provide an opportunity to guide first generation college students and other groups at a higher retention risk through their collegiate experience. These Paths typically combine academic expectations (e.g. meet with an academic advisor), career skills (e.g. participate in mock interview day), and personal development and exploration (e.g. attend an academic major fair or leadership workshop). Student Success Paths allow campuses a way to strategically guide certain populations of students through experiences they believe will benefit their success, retention, and satisfaction. 

Other Departmental Paths

Many other departments across campus can make creative use of Paths, including: 

  • Athletics utilizing Paths to reward student attendance at sporting events 
  • Fraternity & Sorority Life to track member service and philanthropy commitment or attendance at mandatory workshops and speaker sessions 
  • Honors Colleges to organize their opportunities and events into a co-curriculum, allowing administrators to track the involvement their students are seeking
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