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.