Press Release: Accelerate TEXAS Week salutes efforts to help ABE students succeed in college

Recruitment and recognition events happening Nov. 11-15

AUSTIN, TX (November 4, 2013) — Starting Monday, November 11, twenty-one community colleges and college districts across Texas are celebrating Accelerate TEXAS Week in honor of the initiative that has helped more than 3,000 Adult Basic Ed students on their way toward college credentials.

Campuses statewide will be hosting various events from information students for potential enrollees to recipients that recognize outstanding graduates. (Scroll to the bottom for contact info on your local college’s events.)

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 in industries like health care, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. The colleges also use real-time labor market data and other information to determine what credentials hold the most value for students.

The initiative 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 21 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.”

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 of Jobs for the Future, which manages Accelerate TEXAS. “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.” 

The 21 participating colleges and college districts are (with contact info for Accelerate TEXAS Week events):

For general inquiries about Accelerate TEXAS, contact Jayme Rubenstein, jrubenstein@jff.org, 508.769.8440.

About the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

THECB provides leadership and coordination for the Texas higher education system, and funds Accelerate TEXAS.

www.thecb.state.tx.us

About Jobs for the Future

JFF works with our partners to design and drive adoption of education and career pathways leading from college readiness to career advancement for those struggling in today’s economy. JFF provides Accelerate TEXAS with technical assistance, and policy and communications support.

www.jff.org

About the Public Policy Research Institute

Texas A&M University’s PPRI supports Accelerate TEXAS by providing statewide program evaluation (ABE-IG Evaluation Team) and peer learning support for grantees (Transitions Project).

ppri.tamu.edu