National Convening Recap

Thanks to all who attended our #Micropathways National Convening on Jan. 19, 2022!

+ Read a recap of the Convening
+ Watch the recording on YouTube
+ View the presentation slides (PDF)
+ Download our Design Insights Brief
+ Explore all 30+ micro-pathways
+ Learn more at the Community College Growth Engine Fund website
+ Join the conversation on Twitter with #Micropathways

#Micropathways: A Gateway to Community College Transformation

A Community College Growth Engine Fund (#CCGEF) National Convening

Have we found the gateway to community college transformation?

This is the question posed in this CCDaily op-ed … and the answer could be micro-pathways. Specifically, the innovative energy unlocked during the process of designing micro-pathways.

What are micro-pathways?
These employer-validated credentials take less than a year to earn and connect low-wage and entry-level workers to in-demand jobs that pay at-or-above median wage. Micro-pathways also stack to a degree, which can be earned later or part-time while working.

The Community College Growth Engine Fund, led by Dr. Lisa Larson, is a design accelerator that was set up just before the pandemic to help community colleges lean into a future role as regional talent agents in a skills-based economy. Six of the nation’s largest community colleges and systems joined the Fund’s first cohort, surpassing their goals by designing 30 micro-pathways in the first year. Each system or college received a startup award through the Fund, which is supported by over 15 foundations and investors.

Community college leaders, employers, funders, and learners will convene Jan. 19 to share their progress. We invite you to join this critical conversation.

#Micropathways: A Gateway to Community College Transformation

On the Agenda

PART 1: Why micro-pathways?

College executives, funders + industry partners — along with the voices of learners — will discuss how micro-pathways expand access to living-wage job opportunities, close skills gaps, and address talent shortages.

  • Dr. Shouan Pan, Chancellor, Seattle Colleges
  • Courtenay Gebhardt, Founder, Blue Sound Construction, Inc.
  • Carolynn Lee, Senior Program Officer, Ascendium
  • Dr. Lisa Larson, Education Design Lab

PART 2: Micro-pathway models

Colleges will present micro-pathways co-designed with the Lab + employers, celebrate Year 1 successes, and reflect on challenges + opportunities.

  • Dr. Ian Roark, Pima Community College
  • Dr. Stacy Townsley, Ivy Tech Community College
  • Dr. Donna McLean-Grant, Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Hannah Weinstock, LaGuardia Community College
  • Meghan Williams, Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Jessica Cinelli, Kingsborough Community College
  • June Evans, Prince George’s Community College
  • Dr. Sara Lundquist, Education Design Lab

PART 3: A gateway to community college transformation?

The Lab and college leaders will discuss the transformational changes catalyzed by the micro-pathways design process.

  • Lee Lambert, J.D., Chancellor, Pima Community College
  • Dr. Sue Ellspermann, President, Ivy Tech Community College
  • Dr. Rufus Glasper, President + CEO, League for Innovation in the Community College
  • Kathleen deLaski, Founder + CEO, Education Design Lab

Connect with Us

About Education Design Lab

The Lab is a national nonprofit that co-designs, prototypes, and tests education-to-workforce models through a human-centered design process focused on understanding learners’ experiences, addressing equity gaps in higher education, and connecting learners to economic mobility. The Lab’s process also shows higher education leaders how to consider the needs of employers, using the curriculum and program design as a gateway to make skills more visible to students and employers alike.

To get in touch, contact our team at

Follow our work on Twitter @eddesignlab #Micropathways

Connect on LinkedIn at Education Design Lab

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