The #TXsuccess Campaign: We Need Your Help

Sample #TXsuccess social media post for September
Sample #TXsuccess social media post for September

We all know the value of Texas community colleges. After all, it’s our job to promote them in all corners of the state every single day. But while we’re thoroughly convinced of their value, there are many Texans and Texas legislators out there who don’t really understand how much of an impact community colleges make on higher education in Texas.

For the past few legislative cycles, Texas legislators have slashed community college funding.

We aren’t here to complain—what we’ve learned is that we have to collectively do a better job of helping the decision-makers in our state understand what services we provide, who we serve, and how we work every day to make this state a better place with a stronger economy. We have to help them understand that in order to achieve the ambitious goals of 60x30TX, our state must have strong, adequately funded community colleges.

The #TXsuccess Campaign is a way to help them understand, and we need your help.

TACCM is partnering with the Texas Association of Community Colleges to launch the #TXsuccess Campaign beginning this month. Based on feedback from TACCM membership, we’ve identified hot topics that affect community colleges statewide and have developed a statewide communication plan centered around those topics.

You’ll find that communication plan available for download on our #TXsuccess Campaign Resources page.

Here’s what else you’ll find there:

  • A monthly media release that can be customized to feature your college’s information, quotes and stats;
  • Social media posts that you can use as-is or customize with your own photos and colors;
  • and #TXsuccess talking points that your presidents will be using when they speak to legislators and decision-makers.

The point of this: for all of us, all over the state, to collectively promote Texas community colleges as a whole. In November, for example, we want everyone to be talking about how community colleges uniquely serve veterans.

There’s no particular entity out there campaigning for Texas community colleges. We’re it—the marketers at each community college in the state. And together, by taking just a few simple steps each month, we can make an impact.

How can you contribute? Each month, we’ll send out a notice that our new materials are available on the resources page. When you get that, we ask that you:

  • Distribute the media release to your news contacts—feel free to put it on your own letterhead and drop in your own quotes/facts/figures.
  • Schedule 3-4 #TXsuccess social media posts. You can use our images as-is, use the customizable Photoshop files to add your own photos, or just lift our talking points and make your own altogether. While we’re at it, let’s make #TXsuccess Tuesdays a thing. If you can, schedule your posts for Tuesdays.
  • Use the hashtags #TXsuccess and #txlege on everything you do. #TXsuccess will help us track the campaign, while #txlege will ensure that legislators/legislative aides will see the messaging.

And if you’re inspired by any of the #TXsuccess messaging, we hope you’ll take it a step further by writing additional media releases, creating videos, scheduling media events, purchasing ad space—whatever works best in your area. If you do, please use the #TXsuccess hashtag and share your successes with us!

Materials for September are available on the resource center right now.

Want an overview of the resource center and the #TXsuccess campaign? You can watch a recording of last week’s #TXsuccess webinar here.

Let’s show everybody in Texas the amazing work we’re doing in Texas community colleges.

 

Traci Pitman
TACCM Web & Social Media Director
Design & Creative Services Coordinator for Texarkana College

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College is What’s Next: Victoria College and the GenTX Movement

IMG_1822Does your college participate in the Generation TX movement? If not, you should! Generation TX, or GenTX, is a statewide initiative started by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to encourage an entire generation of Texans to pursue education or training after high school.

Victoria-area GenTX partners have been hosting GenTX Decision Day celebrations in May for the last three years. But this year, we’ve decided to step up our efforts by offering activities throughout the year.

The week before Thanksgiving was GenTX College Application Week. Area students participated in fun activities all week long (such as face painting, mascot appearances, and wearing college T-shirts).

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High school students were given the task of decorating their classroom door with career information (salary, educational requirements, interesting facts). The winning class won a pizza party!

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GenTX volunteers helped more than 500 high school seniors complete the ApplyTexas application during GenTX Week, while Captain Vic, Victoria College’s mascot, paid a visit to several elementary and middle schools.

We’re now planning a FAFSA Super Saturday for February, where we’ll offer students and families free assistance with financial aid and scholarship applications. Then in May, we’ll be hosting our fourth GenTX Decision Day celebrating graduating seniors and their postsecondary plans while reminding all our youth that “college is what’s next.”

If your college isn’t a part of the GenTX movement, I encourage you to bring key community partners (school districts, institutions of higher education, businesses, media, youth organizations, etc.) together to start brainstorming ideas. It’s a great outreach initiative, and the THECB provides some awesome planning guides and resources for local GenTX organizers (www.GenTX.org).

If you’re already participating, I’d love to hear what’s working well in your community.

Darin Kazmir, TACCM President
Director of Marketing & Communications
Victoria College

THECB’s 60x30TX Plan: An Overview

It’s a tall order, but we know Texas is capable.

This fall, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board released its new 60x30TX plan. By 2030, they say, at least 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 will have a certificate or degree.

The THECB reports that higher education in Texas has been on the upswing since 2000, adding 540,000 students and doubling enrollment for Hispanic and African-American students. They also report that annual postsecondary credentials have increased by 61%. But to compete nationally and internationally, Texas has more work to do.

Check out the full PDF of the THECB’s 60x30TX strategic plan to learn more. Then, tell us what you think. How is your college reacting to this challenge?