AUSTIN, TX (November 12, 2012) — Starting today, 19 community colleges across Texas are celebrating “Accelerate TEXAS” Week in honor of the initiative that has already helped more than 2,000 Adult Basic Ed students on their way toward college credentials.
Accelerate TEXAS programs integrate ABE skills into college pathways so that students gain all the skills and certificates they need to apply for high-demand jobs.
To see what events are happening where, follow Accelerate TEXAS Week on Facebook or contact your local college.
Accelerate TEXAS addresses a critical workforce issue: At least 60 percent of Texas jobs will require a career certificate or college degree by 2020, according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). And 44 percent of Texans over age 25 have never been to college, let alone earned a credential.
“We know that many adult learners in the state are not prepared to enter college and succeed”, says David Gardner, deputy commissioner at THECB, which funds Accelerate Texas. “THECB and the 19 Accelerate TEXAS colleges are changing all that. We’re showing how integrating basic skills and workforce training can help adult learners earn credentials, and we hope that colleges throughout the state will follow suit.”
The 19 participating colleges are:
- Alamo Community College District
- Amarillo Community College
- Austin Community College
- Coastal Bend College
- College of the Mainland
- El Centro College
- El Paso Community College
- Hill Community College
- Houston Community College
- Laredo Community College
- Lone Star College District
- San Jacinto College
- South Texas College
- Southwest Texas Junior College
- Tarrant County College District
- Texas State Technical College
- Tyler Junior College
- Victoria College
- Wharton County Junior College
With support from Texas State University and Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national education and training nonprofit, the colleges are using real-time labor market data and other information to determine what credentials hold the most value for students. Most Accelerate TEXAS students are pursuing credentials in health care, manufacturing, construction, and transportation.
Collaboration with other entities—employers, workforce boards, adult education providers, and community-based organizations—is also increasing as the colleges install and implement these integrated pathway programs.
“Partnering with all these groups is crucial in order to meet adult learners’ diverse needs,” said Gloria Cross Mwase, JFF program director. “Texas is truly a national leader in bringing together such groups in order to help close achievement gaps and build a highly competitive state workforce.”
About the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
THECB provides leadership and coordination for the Texas higher education system, and funds Accelerate TEXAS.
About Texas State University–San Marcos
Texas State supports Accelerate TEXAS by providing statewide program evaluation (ABE-IG Evaluation Team) and peer learning support for grantees (Transitions Project).
About Jobs for the Future
Jobs for the Future works with our partners to design and drive adoption of education and career pathways leading from college readiness to career advancement for those struggling to succeed in today’s economy.