In 2011, a prominent Texas business group erected provocative billboards condemning low completion rates at the state’s community colleges and questioning the value of tax dollars spent there. The Texas Association of Business put up the signs to prod community colleges to do more to increase student success and help create a better educated workforce. College leaders were outraged at the vitriolic public attack. Yet, just a year and a half later, the once apparent adversaries were working together to help community college students across the state. They cosigned a letter urging the Texas Legislature to support outcomes-based funding, a controversial strategy that provides financial incentives for institutions that increase the number of students who make progress toward and complete a postsecondary credential.
This publication is a concise documentation of the work of the Texas Student Success Council, a group of diverse stakeholder groups in Texas who collaborated and were successful in bringing about some high leverage policy changes in the state's legislative session. It includes a summary of the Council's origins, accomplishments, process for setting its policy agenda, and recommendations for states seeking to implement a similar strategy.