Texas Higher Education Community Launches Unified Giving Initiative to Provide Emergency Aid to College Students Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

Harvey HELP will enable individuals, institutions, foundations, and corporations to contribute funds for emergency aid for Texas college students as they recover from storm and return to classroom

AUSTIN, TEX. (Sept. 1, 2017) — Texas and national leaders from higher education associations, institutions, foundations, and businesses have come together to launch the Harvey HELP Fund, a crowd-sourced relief fund dedicated to aiding the close to 500,000 students impacted by Hurricane Harvey–almost a third of all of the college and university students in the state. Announced today, HELP, which stands for Higher Education Learning Pathways, will provide emergency funds to enable students in southeast Texas to stay on or more quickly return to their education pathway.

“The storm has disrupted hundreds of thousands of students’ lives, most of whom were just about to start the new school year. We all know students, neighbors, and fellow Texans who are now displaced from their homes, employment, schools, and are even coping with the loss of loved ones,” said Dr. Richard Rhodes, President of Austin Community College. “Like volunteers and citizens across this country, we were determined not to just stand by, but to take action. We formed Harvey HELP to pool the collective strength, resources, and passion of higher education to enable and streamline community support for these students. We want to make sure the students have what they need to overcome these challenges and return to the classroom.”

The relief efforts are being led by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), Austin Community College (ACC), Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC), Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT), Council of Public Universities Presidents and Chancellors (CPUPC), Civitas Learning, and Communities Foundations of Texas (CFT), the parent of Educate Texas.

Tax-deductible donations can be made through the Harvey HELP GoFundMe page at GoFundMe.com/HarveyHELPStudents or directly through Communities Foundation of Texas. The Communities Foundation of Texas is serving as the charitable partner as education has been a primary focus of its philanthropic investments and through Educate Texas, its statewide, public-private initiative.

Emergency aid will help students and their families recover from and manage immediate life-and-logistics emergencies so they can afford to resume their studies and complete their higher education pathways. Research shows that many students leave school because of non-academic challenges related to work, family, and personal finance. Hurricane Harvey is likely one of the most extreme examples of the range of issues that can knock students off their education pathway.

“This is an opportunity for anyone, within the higher education community or beyond, within Texas or beyond, to make a real difference,” said Dr. Mark Milliron, Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of Civitas Learning, one of the corporations stepping up to donate. “With Harvey HELP, everybody who believes deeply in the power of education to change lives has a simple way to get involved and help the tens of thousands of students who were planning on attending Texas colleges this Fall and are now grappling with much more pressing challenges than getting to class, including finding food, shelter, transportation, child care, health care, and more.”

To ensure that all of Harvey HELP’s funds are used in a way that best benefits students, Harvey HELP’s steering committee of nonprofit and institutional leaders will evaluate applications from colleges and universities. Approved institutions will receive Harvey HELP’s funds to support aid programs, respond to their students’ specific needs, and help with students’ school expenses – such as tuition and textbooks – as well as personal expenses like transportation, rent, and groceries.

To get involved or donate to the fund, visit www.GoFundMe.com/HarveyHELPStudents or contact Carolyn Newham at the Communities Foundation of Texas at 214-750-4146.

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About Communities Foundation of Texas: Communities Foundation of Texas works with families, companies and nonprofits to strengthen our community through a variety of charitable funds and strategic grant making initiatives. Communities Foundation of Texas is committed to serving and understanding donor needs, expertly handling complex gifts, wisely managing charitable funds, and leveraging its community knowledge to increase charitable impact. CFT professionally manages nearly 1,000 charitable funds and has awarded more than $1.7 billion in grants since its founding in 1953.

www.cftexas.org. Facebook: www.facebook.com/CFTexas Twitter: @GiveWisely

Media Contact: Ben Heverly, heverly@whiteboardadvisors.com, 202-851-3622

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Texas Community Colleges partner with state and national philanthropic organizations to launch Texas Guided Pathways

(Austin, TX) The Texas Success Center (TSC), a division of the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC), is pleased to announce the partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Greater Texas Foundation, T.L.L. Temple Foundation, and the Teagle Foundation to launch an ambitious five-year effort to implement Texas Pathways reform across all 50 community college districts in the state.

Texas Pathways is an integrated, system-wide approach to student success based on intentionally designed, clear, coherent and structured educational experiences that guides each student effectively and efficiently from the selection of their high school degree program, to entry into higher education, to attainment of high-quality credentials and careers.

Texas Pathways is patterned after the American Association of Community College (AACC) Pathways Model launched nationally in 2015. Texas Pathways is built upon three important design principles. 1) colleges’ program redesigns must pay attention to the entire student experience, rather than to just one segment of it, 2) a guided Pathways redesign is a framework that helps unify a variety of reform elements around the central goal of helping students choose, enter, and complete a program of study aligned with their goals for employment and further education, and 3) the redesign process starts with student end goals for careers and further education in mind and “backward maps” programs and supports to ensure that students are prepared for employment and education at the next level.

The opportunity for quality employment and a rewarding adult life largely depends upon completing an academic credential. The state’s new plan for higher education 60x30TX, recognizes that for Texas to remain competitive and prosperous it will need 60% of its 25- to 34-year-olds to hold a quality certificate or degree by 2030.

“Greater Texas Foundation (GTF) is pleased and excited to support the TSC’s Texas Guided Pathways initiative. GTF supports efforts to ensure all Texas students are prepared for, have access to, persist in, and complete a postsecondary education. The design principles of Texas Guided Pathways embody each of the components of our mission in a highly structured, scalable, and student-focused way. We look forward to working with TSC on this important endeavor to improve education outcomes for students across the state,” said Ralph Rushing, Chair & Interim Chief Executive, Greater Texas Foundation

“Community colleges play a critical role in educating our future workforce, and thirteen colleges in East Texas serve about 25% of all Texas community college students.  Pathways will ensure more Texans succeed in college and that our region is economically competitive,” said Dr. Wynn Rosser, President & CEO, T.L.L. Temple Foundation.

“Building on emerging research and experience in the field, Texas Pathways reflects the Texas Success Center’s commitment to support all 50 Texas community college districts’ student success efforts through a comprehensive implementation of this model,” said Dr. Cynthia Ferrell, Executive Director, TSC. She continued, “And we are so very grateful for the support of our partners at these incredible foundations as we all work to make all make Texas students successful.”

“We expect that Texas Pathways will have an enormous impact to students and the state given its scale across the more than 700,000 students who attend a Texas community college. It has the potential to radically change how students enter and get through the higher education system and efficiently achieve a quality certificate or degree,” said Jacob Fraire, President & CEO, Texas Association of Community Colleges.

 

Download Texas Pathways Launch Release (.doc)

 

Contact:  

Cynthia Ferrell (512) 476-2572 / cferrell@tacc.org

Steve Johnson at (512) 476-2572 / sjohnson@tacc.org

 

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About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.

About the Greater Texas Foundation

Greater Texas Foundation supports efforts to ensure all Texas students are prepared for, have access to, persist in, and complete postsecondary education. We put particular focus on helping underserved and disadvantaged populations. We pursue our mission by forming partnerships, supporting research, sharing knowledge, and making grants.

About the Teagle Foundation

The Teagle Foundation works to support and strengthen liberal arts education, which we see as fundamental to meaningful work, effective citizenship, and a fulfilling life. Our aim is to serve as a catalyst for the improvement of teaching and learning in the arts and sciences while addressing issues of financial sustainability and accountability in higher education. 

About the T.L.L. Temple Foundation

Since its founding in 1962, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation has invested more than $440 million, primarily to strengthen communities in Deep East Texas. The T.L.L. Temple Foundation works alongside families and communities to build a thriving Deep East Texas and to alleviate poverty, creating access and opportunities for all.

About the Texas Success Center

The Center was established at the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) in 2013 to tighten the linkage between practice, research, and policy enabling Texas community colleges to benefit from national research and promising practices on how to accelerate degree completion.

About the Texas Association of Community Colleges

The Texas Association of Community Colleges is a non-profit association that includes all 50 public community college districts in the state. TACC was formally created in 1947 to serve as a voice for all member colleges.

 

 

 

From the President | March 2017 Update

Melinda Eddleman | TACCM President
Melinda Eddleman TACCM President

Greetings TACCM members!

Spring Break may have already hit some of your campuses while other breaks will begin over the next two weeks. What does that mean? Usually that half the spring semester is over (where’d the time go?), and the 2017 TACCM conference, #connecTACCM, is not that far away.

This year’s conference chair, Nick Alvarado with Texas State Technical College, and his committees are hard at work to offer a conference well-worth attending June 19-21 in Downtown Austin at the Omni Hotel. Conference details are available on the TACCM website.

Make plans now and register, reserve your hotel room and even submit a presentation proposal. You can also pick up some new social media skills and Segway your way downtown to showoff what you’ve learned as part of this year’s pre-conference session!

Your TACCM membership is one of the best opportunities to connect with other marketing, public relations, design, web and social media, and recruitment professionals from community colleges not only in your region but also from across the state. Get connected during #connecTACCM!

TACCM continues our #TXsuccess Campaign collaboration with the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) with communication efforts targeting legislators during the 85th Texas Legislative Session, which will continue meeting at least through May.

Our successes and economic impact across the state need to be heard! We need you to participate!

Share your success stories using #TXsuccess and #txlege. TACCM Web & Social Media Director Traci Pitman with Texarkana College continues to lead the charge with #TXsuccess Tuesdays and messaging to ensure our success stories are heard. Every Tuesday, watch the TACCM Facebook & Twitter for facts about Texas community colleges that you can share to help spread the word!

On that note … several institutions participated during Community College Day at the Capitol on Feb. 7, which TACC hosted. Students visited with their local legislative delegations and shared targeted messaging about state funding and other issues that can impact their community college and access to education for many. You can view pictures from the event in this Flickr album and on this social media recap.

Finally, don’t forget that TACCM hosts the free Career and Technical Education (CTE) exploration site called TEXASgenuine. The site serves as a tool for career and college advisors statewide, so take a look and share the link with your contacts who fill this role and can use this valuable resource.

As always … let’s keep the momentum going and tell the best story Texas offers––the community, technical and junior college story! I look forward to seeing you in Austin this June.

 

Melinda Eddleman
2016-2018 TACCM President
Associate Director of Media Relations, Del Mar College

As industries grow, Texas community colleges step up to the plate

2017-01-28-txsuccess

Submitted by San Jacinto College

Industries in Texas show no signs of slowing down as growth continues with an increased need for skilled workers. Community colleges in the state stand ready to train and deliver the right candidates for the jobs.

With more than 210,000 jobs added to Texas in 2016, there’s been a spike in growth specifically within the education, health services, hospitality and manufacturing sectors, according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Within the next seven years, Texas is projected to add more than 1.8 million jobs in health care, increase teaching and administrator jobs in both private and public education schools by 25 percent, and increase manufacturing jobs by 7 percent.

Other industries like petrochemical are continuing to expand with new projects, creating a ripple effect of need for workers in an array of industrial technology jobs. Approximately 11,430 direct employees and resident contractors in the combined operations, maintenance and engineering occupations will be needed to replace attrition and fill newly-created positions in the petrochemical industry by the close of 2019, according to the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region. With $40 billion in capital investment, it is estimated that plant expansions along the Texas Gulf Coast region will result in 1,000 permanent jobs and approximately 30,000 construction jobs.

While industries look for new hires, what they really look for are skilled workers – those who are trained and ready for the job, and even better, with an associate degree. Jobs in areas like process technology and maritime, that were once held by employees with high school diplomas, now require more regulated training for skill sets that can include math, computer skills and soft skills.

This is where Texas community colleges come into play.

Community colleges are best positioned to provide customized training in their local community because of their familiarity with specific workforce needs, according to the TWC 2016 Skills Development Fund Annual Report.

Training efforts at community colleges include building new facilities with equipment and environments that closely replicates that of where graduates will one day work, like a sim lab for nursing students, a plant lab for process technology or bridge simulators for maritime students.

Many Texas colleges have received state and federal grants to assist industry in the training of current or incoming employees and make training more available to colleges’ service areas. For example, TWC awarded Laredo Community College a $332,500 Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grant to install equipment to provide 158 students in the medical profession with training for advanced nursing skills. North Lake College was granted a $407, 230 TWC Skills Development Fund grant to partner with a manufacturing and distribution consortium for job training. San Jacinto College received an $8.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to provide tuition-free training to low-income individuals for select health occupation courses and program.

For many employers, their nearby community college serves a training hub where they’re a partner in ensuring graduates are prepared to land jobs and “hit the ground running” on Day 1.

Download a customizable media release

View the TWC Skills Development Fund Annual Report

Gearing Up for Community College Day 2017

Poster.pngCommunity College Day at the Texas State Capitol: February 7, 2017

Students from community and technical colleges across the state will converge on the Texas State Capitol on February 7 for Texas Community College Day. In lieu of our usual #TXsuccess Tuesday, we want to promote Community College Day on social media channels across the state!

Whether you’re attending or not, you can help us boost the #TXsuccess message on Community College Day! Here’s how:

  • Share this handout (.pdf) with students who are attending. We’re going to be giving away Amazon and Starbucks gift cards from $25-$100 to students in attendance who post using #TXsuccess and #txlege. Give them a heads up so they can be sure to participate!
  • If you can’t attend but your students can, make sure you share/retweet their posts on your official college channels using #TXsuccess and #txlege.
  • You can follow the action on our live #TXsuccess Tweetwall!
  • Share the Community College Day 2017 Facebook event. Encourage people to mark themselves as ‘attending’ or ‘interested’ to show their support.

Visit the Texas Association of Community Colleges website for a full Community College Day agenda.

Texas’ Technical, Community Colleges Have Roles in Statewide Economic Development

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(WACO) – Technical and community colleges in Texas must continue to be proactive in meeting the needs of state and regional business and industry partners, according to workforce and economic development leaders.

“Moving forward, the colleges are going to be much more critical to our efforts,” said Jason Hilts, president and chief executive officer of the Brownsville Economic Development Council. “We don’t have enough skilled labor force. It’s not just a Brownsville or a Rio Grande Valley problem; it’s a national problem. If we are trying to create those sustainable jobs that help create a better community, we need to have a labor force that has more skills associated with it or we are not going to be able to compete for projects.”

The Texas Economic Development Division of the Office of the Governor focuses on attracting and retaining companies in aerospace, energy, information technology, petroleum refining and chemicals, biotechnology and advanced technology and manufacturing.

Some cities, such as Wichita Falls, look toward data centers to drive the economy, while Arlington aims for medical device manufacturers. The Borderplex Alliance (which includes Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; El Paso; and Las Cruces, New Mexico) touts alternative energy and defense.

“Business and industry do not have borders,” said Jaime Farias, associate vice president for workforce and continuing education at El Paso Community College.

Hilts said the jobs of the future are focusing on automation, robotics, logistics, medical and food manufacturing, aerospace and 3-D printing.

In early 2016, the Computer-Aided Drafting program at Texas State Technical College in North Texas began using a 3-D printer to prepare students for engineering, design, manufacturing and design work. TSTC offers an associate degree and level-two certificate in Computer-Aided Drafting.

Some two-year institutions have specialized centers to target job training.

Victoria College’s Emerging Technology Complex opened in June 2015 and has a 72,000-square-foot Conference and Education Center and a 42,000-square-foot Industrial Training Center. Since its opening, the college has hosted the Texas Water Utilities Association, INVISTA and other entities for meetings and hands-on training.

Del Mar College in Corpus Christi opened in 2016 a $2 million Process and Instrumentation Technology Pilot Plant on its West Campus. The facility is used in the college’s mission of educating workers for the refining, petrochemical, and oil and gas industries.

The Texas Workforce Commission offers Skills Development Fund grants for localized workforce training for technical and community colleges, economic development entities and workforce development boards. Skills Development Fund grants have helped more than 4,100 statewide employers with training for 329,000 employees since 1996, according to TWC’s “Skills Development Fund Annual Report, Fiscal Year 2015.”

TSTC received more than $2.2 million in Skills Development Fund grants through five TWC awards in Fiscal Year 2016. This translated into more than 1,000 Texas workers receiving customized training to improve their skills in instrumentation, advanced motor controls, logistics, hydraulics, troubleshooting and other tasks.

“TSTC has been a long-time partners of the TWC in the deployment of Skills Development Fund and Skills for Small Business grants that support customized workforce training for companies across the state,” said Carliss Hyde, vice president for sponsored programs at TSTC. “We are grateful to be part of the process in this successful program and anticipate nothing but continued growth in our involvement in these projects.”

El Paso Community College has used TWC funding in the past to provide training in welding, plastics mold technology, information technology and other fields. Farias said the college can stay flexible and develop training quickly with the funds. He credited the partnership the college has with the TWC, the city of El Paso and the Borderplex Alliance for coming together to help industries.

“It helps to keep retention for these companies and develops a person who has additional skills to increase productivity in that company,” Farias said.

The resources are in place for Texas’ technical and community colleges to continue adapting to an evolving global economy and to train students for tomorrow’s jobs.

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