Austin, TX Community Summit
Education Progress Report Luncheon
Background & Rationale: Central Texas is at a critical juncture. Despite a booming economy, a wide gap exists between available jobs and local workforce talent. Approximately 50% of current job openings require a bachelor’s degree, 12% require an Associate’s degree, but 85% of our unemployed lack either credential.
Over the last decade, nearly 100,000 Central Texas students, a majority of high school graduates, directly enrolled in college. Direct-to-college enrollment rates increased by ten percentage points between 2003 and 2008, but have leveled off at roughly 60% over the last five years and still sit below the national average of roughly 70%.
On March 27 superintendents and business leaders were convened in a closed-door meeting to discuss specific priorities and strategies to improve direct college enrollment from 62% up to 70%. It was estimated that to reach this target an additional 1,400 students would need to enroll across 15 Central Texas districts – roughly 700 more students between 2015 and 2016. For most districts, this means helping between 20 and 200 students transition directly to college over the 2015 and 2016 school year.
Armed with this data and the aim of ensuring that students have the best possible educational and economic opportunities, Central Texas Superintendents and business leaders agreed that a 70% regional direct-to-college target is realistic and attainable for 2016.
Overview: As a follow up to the Superintendent-level meeting on March 27th, regional Superintendents were asked to designate a senior member of their team to serve on a subcommittee tasked with developing an operational plan that will address existing barriers, outline regional and district goals, and accelerate progress towards a 70% direct-to-college enrollment rate by 2016. A mid-term update and public announcement of the group goals and progress will be made at the Chamber’s 4/27 Education Progress Report Luncheon, subcommittee representatives will convene again in mid-May to work out finalized and operational strategies, and finally report back to the full Superintendent-level group in mid-June.
Ultimately, school districts, the Chamber, and community partners will mutually agree on, own, resource, and work collectively to achieve strategic goals outlined by the working group as part of a formal regional agreement.
Event Date and Time
Monday, April 27, 2015
11:00am – 1:00pm
Doubletree by Hilton Austin
6505 N. Interstate 35
Austin, TX 78752
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