Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Lawrence Nespoli, D.Ed.

Committee Member 1

Monica Reid Kerrigan, Ed.D.

Committee Member 2

Steven Rose, Ed.D.


Community College Leadership, Early Momentum Metrics, Guided Pathways


Educational evaluation; Academic achievement


Community College Leadership | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research


The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to understand how leaders at two community colleges that participated in Guided Pathways used early momentum metrics (EMMs) to change institutional policies or practices to improve student success and degree completion rates. By focusing on EMMs as short-term indicators, leaders could track the effectiveness of institutional changes for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of Guided Pathways. The results of this study contributed new understanding to how leaders can better use EMMs to shape institutional changes that improve student success. This study provided leaders with tangible examples of EMMs in action and tools for how leaders can be prepared to support their institution to move forward with data-informed decisions around Guided Pathways. This study found that having access to data tools and a strong relationship with Institutional Research was important to develop a culture of inquiry and improve data-informed decision-making. Knowledge and financial resource support aided to streamline the implementation of Guided Pathways and the use of EMMs in practice. EMMs should be used early and often by community college leaders to monitor change on campus and remain focused on helping students achieve success and completion.