The Massachusetts Community College System (MCCS) - Streamlining Career Pathways, Credit for Prior Learning and Data Tracking and Reporting


The Massachusetts Community College System (MCCS) is advancing training and educational opportunities in STEM fields — as well as health care and advanced manufacturing — through skillful collaboration and data integration with business and industry partnerships. The consortium of colleges, which is comprised of 15 institutions at 24 different locations statewide, received a $20 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant to create the Guided Pathways to STEM (GPSTEM) project. GOSTEM is multifaceted approach to helping individuals find a career path that is mutually beneficial to the learner and the community’s economic growth.


fivestar* was the strategic technology partner on the GPSTEM project. Under a three-year contract, we developed two publicly accessible online resources. CareerGPS.mas.edu is an innovative curriculum-to-career portal that helps job-seekers and prospective students make informed decisions about career options — matching individual interests and skills with programs and careers.

MyExperienceCounts.mass.edu is a centralized, online portal that promotes credit for prior learning program awareness and streamlines the CPL process through a shared, online workspace that enhances collaboration and efficiencies, setting more students on a path to success through CPL. fivestar* also created a powerful data warehouse that centralized information from multiple sources to streamline decision-making based on specific questions by integrating workforce and academic data from local, state and federal sources. It includes a powerful anonymization engine to safeguard sensitive student information and a view to manage who can access data and the time period for which that data was made available.

This was a first-of-its-kind project for which no product solution existed. Additionally, the project was grant-funded for a limited time-period, meaning the client continues to use the system post-grant, as there are no ongoing licensing fees.


The system has provided more accurate and timely data, reduced errors, and lessened the time it takes for prospective students to pinpoint career options and connect with credit and non-credit programs in their area. The individual tools used have helped streamline information access to the public and institutional administrators. The system has also removed the manual data collection and analysis burden from administration to make decision-making and program management more efficient and functional.

Why a custom solution?

This was a first-of-its-kind project where no product solution existed.

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