Accelerate TEXAS

Accelerate TEXAS

Advancing Adult Students into Careers

Integrating basic skills with career and technical pathways to help adults acquire skills and certificates in high-demand occupations at 17 community colleges and college districts.

Lucretia Murphy
Senior Director

At least 60% of jobs in Texas will require a career certificate or college degree by 2020. In order to ensure that more Texans can attain the necessary postsecondary credentials that lead to good jobs, Accelerate TEXAS has facilitated the following outcomes since 2011:

  • 13 community colleges and 8 college districts have received grants to launch programs.
  • More than 3,000 adults have enrolled in programs that lead to certificates in health care, manufacturing, construction, and transportation.

Many indicators suggest that Texas is not well positioned to meet the demand for skilled jobs, even though at least 60% of jobs in Texas will require a career certificate or college degree by 2020. 

  • 44% of Texans over 25 have never attended college.
  • Only 4.2% of Texans eligible for adult education services received them in 2011.
  • By 2040 the number of Texans eligible for adult education is expected to double.

Despite the fact that Texas is expanding resources for Adult Basic Education, the numbers of students enrolled are falling, highlighting the need for a more efficient delivery of ABE. According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, state and federal funding for ABE programs in Texas has increased 26% over the past five years ($53.4 million up to $67.3 million) while enrollment has dropped nearly 20% (124,297 down to 99,802). Furthermore, just 5% of GED recipients actually transition to college.

Accelerate TEXAS integrates basic skills with career and technical pathways to help adult students acquire skills and certificates in high-demand occupations.

The initiative is built on proven methods in accelerating opportunity for adults who enter postsecondary education.  Through this partnership with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, we help advance the skills, credentials, and employability of the state’s 3.6 million low-skilled adults, which helps the Coordinating Board reach its goal of helping 500,000 more Texans enroll in postsecondary education by 2015.

How Accelerate TEXAS Works

Accelerate TEXAS does 4 things to turn 17 separate Accelerate TEXAS programs into a single large and growing movement:

  1. Provides free professional development by sharing best practices for adult ed classroom instruction among all colleges
  2. Helps colleges gather and analyze data more efficiently
  3. Helps state policymakers craft policies that encourage and sustain Accelerate TEXAS and other adult education innovations
  4. Shares results and success stories broadly to bolster support for these programs


Accelerate TEXAS programs are leading more adults to credentials throughout Texas. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is investing in new college programs through its Adult Basic Education Innovation Grants that link ABE programs with occupational training. Jobs for the Future is developing a customized technical assistance plan and coaching for participating colleges. We also support a Mentor Colleges group that helps new institutions implement the integrated pathway approach. We are working together on supportive policies at institutional, college consortia, and state levels.

  • Employer Engagement

    A Resource Guide to Engaging Employers

    This resource guide presents working models of successful employer engagement and lessons for securing and sustaining partnerships with employers. It was written to help education and training providers fully realize the value of strategic, long-term, and intensive partnerships with employers. The resource leads readers thorugh a continuum of activities supporting these partnerships, with each level involving deeper engagement and integration of employers into the work

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  • Lacey

    Impact Profile, Lacey Bowman: Accelerating to College and Career Success

    All Lacey Bowman wanted at age 29 was a cashier job at a convenience store to help support her family, but not a single store was interested. After months of rejections, Lacey visited a workforce training center in South Texas and quickly learned what was wrong—she had little work experience and no high school diploma. But Lacey resolved to fix the problem and set her sights even higher.  
    “Within one year, Accelerate TEXAS helped me get from zero job prospects, to a college education and a family-supporting career. It created pathways for me that I didn’t even know were possible."
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