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The seminal book on guided pathways, Redesigning America’s Community Colleges (Bailey et al., 2015), outlines the importance of college stakeholders who seek to successfully adopt a guided pathways approach to start with the students’ end goal in mind. This end-in-mind approach at the onset of institutional guided pathways adoption is foundational as it provides the clarity colleges need to build its student support and academic programs that are responsive to the intended outcomes of the students’ journey. In other words, the entire apparatus of a college must be organized to maximize the students’ opportunity to reach their end goal, which is depicted in the guided pathways model as the student’s ability to be placed in a career and/or transfer to a four-year college.

While this is a fine goal, the reality is that systems of oppression continue to operate and produce disproportionately negative life outcomes for people of color, even when they have earned degrees. The impacts of colonization run deep, as Frantz Fanon noted in his pivotal work, The Wretched of the Earth (Fanon, 1961, pp. 1–62). His observations on the impact of colonization and the subsequent struggle for liberation provide a powerful lesson for educational leaders who desire to create equitable institutions. This framework challenges college stakeholders who are tasked with implementing guided pathways to fundamentally reassess how one defines success and the end goal of students. Success for our colleges cannot be relegated to infinitesimal improvements in student educational outcomes. Rather, success through the lens of Fanon is a college’s ability to question every aspect of how the organization functions and to grapple with how these practices are rooted in European colonial values and traditions that keep communities and students of color dependent on people outside of their communities to sustain their livelihoods.