Uses of Words Paths and Pathways

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Table of Contents

Plays on Words Path and Pathways During Project (2011-2013)

Examples of Higher Education’s Use of the Words Path and Pathways Other Than CUNY’s Pathways Initiative

A Few of the Many Aphorisms and Quotations Using the Words Path or Pathway

Plays on Words Path and Pathways During Project (2011-2013)

By The City University of New York (CUNY) Supporters of Pathways

Clearing the credit-transfer path. (2011, February 14). CUNY Matters. Retrieved from

CUNY’s pathway to shared governance. (2015, January 23). By A. W. Logue The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from

From labyrinth to pathways. (2011, October 12). CUNY Matters. Retrieved from

New Pathways to continued progress. (2011, July 11). By M. Goldstein. CUNY Matters. Retrieved from

Pathways ahead: Reform & Rigor. (n.d.). The City University of New York. Retrieved from

Pathways for CUNY’s largest transfer majors. (2012, August 6). By A. W. Logue. Retrieved from

Pathways open, new choices. (2013, March 6). CUNY Matters. Retrieved from

Pathways to graduation. (2011, March 4). Newswire. Title of email to CUNY community.

Pathways to higher standards. (2011, December 30). By W. Kelly & M. Anderson. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Streamlined pathways. (2012, April 26). By R. Landa. Salute to Scholars. Retrieved from

“Thanks to Pathways, I’m on the Right Path.” From student video about Pathways (published on Youtube 8/21/13, “CUNY Pathways PSA—directed by Alex Leu,” Retrieved from:

Transfer route cleared: Plan under way to streamline the University’s costly, frustrating ‘transfer maze.’ (2011, July 11). CUNY Matters. Retrieved from

And here is some of a February 26, 2013 email exchange between me and a full-time CUNY senior college faculty member:

Full-time faculty member at a senior college: “We are now attaching a formal label to this CUNY-wide general education requirement and the word “Pathways” is emerging. I want to register my objection to this. As a process and even perhaps political statement ‘CUNY-wide Pathways to degree completion’ sounds nice. But Pathways also invokes tramping through the muck trying to find paths to get out of the woods. Once we have made the paths it is then about where we go – and we are going to a CUNY-wide Common Core curriculum – not to Pathways. I like CUNY Common Core and then the local campus can have their version of the common core. Yes, collectively these are pathways. But the image of a common core (for me!) is the image of unified, cohesive requirement whereas the image of pathways (for me!) is a difficult path forged in an overgrown mountain that keeps getting trampled. Thus I’m a fan of CUNY Common Core for General Education not Pathways.”

My response: “Everyone can use the term CUNY Common Core for the new gen ed as much as they want as the term Pathways is broader than that—it refers to not only the common core but also to the 10 majors for which faculty have identified the CUNY-wide courses that lead into them, as well as to the fact that electives also transfer. In essence, the term Pathways refers to everything in the June 2011 Board resolution. However I must admit that I have my own reasons for not loving the term Pathways—there are too many higher ed initiatives around the country that have the same name. So calling ours Pathways can be confusing and trite. But the term has some good attributes too. I really don’t think it conjures up mud tramping in most people’s minds—the image is more like the yellow brick road. All right, I really shouldn’t claim that many people have that image either! But I’m afraid that Pathways is the term we’ve got for the initiative as a whole. You can be confident, however, that using the term CUNY Common Core for the gen ed part is absolutely correct.”

By the Professional Staff Congress (PSC)

CUNY cuts corners for Pathways. (2013, March). By P. Hogness. Clarion. Retrieved from

Keeping an eye on Pathways. (2011, December). By Clarion Staff. Clarion. Retrieved from

Next steps in Pathways battle. (2013, August). By P. Hogness. Clarion. Retrieved from

“Pathway to ignorance or road to revolution.” Handout at PSC Town Hall meeting March 8, 2012.

Pathways forced into slow lane, as more college senates say no. (2013, January). By P. Hogness. Clarion. Retrieved from

Tough going for Pathways: Fall 2013 implementation may be hard to reach. (2013, February). By P. Hogness. Clarion. Retrieved from

Where is the ‘Pathways’ to language study? (2012, March). Clarion. Retrieved from

By the University Faculty Senate (UFS)

CUNY Pathways: Paved with good intentions? (2011, June). The Senate Digest, 41(3), pp. 1, 4, 6.

“Instead, said Cooper, the top-down process imposed at CUNY ‘has become a “pathway” for creating struggles between and amongst groups of people’ over a scarce number of credits.” Quoted in Hogness, P. (2012, March 8; article updated 2014, April 25). Town hall meeting: Speaking out on Pathways, organizing for an alternative. Retrieved from:

Pathways: Uncharted territory. (2012, April). The Senate Digest, pp. 1,3,7.

Pathways marches on. (2012, March 19). From email of S. Cooper to UFS-NEWS Listserv.

Reversing the “Pathways” “path?” (2014, February 15). By P. Pecorino. CUNY University Faculty Senate. Retrieved from

Statement to the CUNY Board of Trustees June 18/25 2012: A path forward. (2012, June 18/25). By S. Cooper.
The road to Pathways. (2013, May-June). By S. Cooper. AAUP. Retrieved from

By Outside Media

CUNY on war ‘path.’ (2013, June 2). By S. Edelman. New York Post. Retrieved from

CUNY Pathways system encounters bumpy road in council hearing. (2014, March 3). By J. Sims. The Chief. Retrieved from

CUNY’s Pathway to whatever. (2011, December 18). By P. Wood. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from

HCM Strategists. (n.d.). Moving credit: Pathways to degree completion. College productivity. Retrieved from

‘Path’ to union win. (2013, June 9). By KC Johnson. New York Post. Retrieved from

Pathways from CUNY. (2012, September 20). The Brian Lehrer Show. WNYC. Interview with Scott Jaschik. Retrieved from

Examples of Higher Education’s Use of the Words Path and Pathways Other Than CUNY’s Pathways Initiative

A matter of degrees: Practices to pathways. (2014). Center for Community College Student Engagement. Austin, TX: The University of Texas at Austin, Program in Higher Education Leadership. Retrieved from

Building Pathways for Community College Students. (2015, August 13). American Association of Community Colleges. Retrieved from:

Create smarter pathways. Lumina Foundation. Retrieved from:

Guided pathways for transfer. (2015, November 17). By M. Reed. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from

Guided pathways to success: Boosting college completion. (n.d.). Complete College America. Retrieved from

Maricopa to ASU Pathways Program. Arizona State University. Retrieved from:

Pathways for student success. (n.d.). Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Retrieved from

Pathways project: Alamo Colleges’ two-pronged approach to student success. (2015, December 11). By D. Pierce. AACC 21st Century Center. Retrieved from

Pathways project: Cleveland State seeks better student engagement. (2016, January 5). By D. Pierce. AACC 21st Century Center. Retrieved from

Pathways to the Baccalaureate. Northern Virginia Community College. Retrieved from:

Policy meets pathways: A state policy agenda for transformational change. (2014, December). By L. K. Couturier. Jobs for the Future and Completion by Design. Retrieved from

Providing structured pathways to guide students toward completion. By M. Dadgar, A. Venezia, T. Nodine, & K. R. Bracco, WestEd. Retrieved from

Redesigning America’s Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success. (2015). By T. R. Bailey, S. S. Jaggars, & D. Jenkins. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Tennessee Transfer Pathway. Tennessee College Transfer Guarantee. Retrieved from:

Strengthening the transfer pathway: From community to four-year private colleges. (2015). Edvance Foundation. Retrieved from

The SUNY Pathway to Success: The report of the SUNY Task Force on Remediation. (2012, November). State University of New York. Retrieved from

What we know about guided pathways. (2015, March). By T. Bailey, S. S. Jaggars, & D. Jenkins. Community College Research Center. Retrieved from

And here is a portion of a May 2013 email written by a full-time CUNY community college faculty member: “How could CUNY faculty in 2011 serendipitously have arrived at system changes planned as early as 2001 by corporate interests funding Lumina? Only if faculty were told in advance what the configuration should be and/or if faculty deviations from that plan were disregarded. Even the name ‘Pathways’ comes from Lumina. It did not originate with CUNY faculty or even its Board of Trustees.”

A Few of the Many Aphorisms and Quotations Using the Words Path or Pathway

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (poet)*

Don’t accept that you can’t make a difference. Because if you can’t make a difference, you won’t make a difference, and if you put a multiplier on that we will continue on an unsustainable pathway. Maurice Strong (businessman)*

Forget about trying to compete with someone else. Create your own pathway. Create your own new vision. Herbie Hancock (musician)*

I don’t know whether you can look at your past and find, woven like the hidden symbols on a treasure map, the path that will point to your final destination.
Jodi Picoult (fiction writer)**

If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.
Frank A. Clark (Congressman)*

If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.
Barack Obama (President of the United States)*

It’s all well and good to look back after the fact and see what we should have done, but we rarely know what path is best when we take that first step.
Christine Feehan (romance novelist)**

It’s not just a question of conquering a summit previously unknown, but of tracing, step by step, a new pathway to it. Gustav Mahler (composer)*

Life is full of adventure. There’s no such thing as a clear pathway. Guy Laliberte (businessman)*

May your star guide you to walk in the right path.
Lailah Gifty Akita (writer)**

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. Buddha (religious leader)*

One’s options in this world are as vast as the horizon, which is technically a circle and thus infinitely broad. Yet we must choose each step we take with utmost caution, for the footprints we leave behind are as important as the path we will follow. They’re part of the same journey – our story.”
Lori R. Lopez (fiction writer)**

Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.
Theodore Roethke (poet)*

The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, became a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong. Thomas Carlyle (philosopher)*

The universe…sets out little signposts for us along the way, to confirm that we’re on the right path.
Michelle Maiso (food writer)**

You can choose a direction that will take you into something that isn’t going to take you where you want to go, or you can choose another direction which is down the right pathway. Kerry Stokes* (businessman)

You must be fearless to take the path less traveled.
Lailah Gifty Akita (writer)**



All net revenues received by the author from sales of this book are being donated to The City University of New York to support undergraduate student financial aid.