More than 25 community and technical college districts and campuses across Texas will
celebrate Accelerate TEXAS Week Nov. 9-15 in honor of the initiative that has helped more than 400 students earn a General Education Diploma (GED) and more than 4,000 basic skills students earn a certificate or other college credentials. Campuses will host various events that provide information to potential students and recognize outstanding program graduates.
Accelerate TEXAS programs integrate relevant basic skills content with workforce training programs, enabling students to gain entry into career pathways for high-demand jobs in industries including health care, manufacturing, construction and transportation. The colleges also use real-time labor market data and other information to determine which credentials hold the most value for students.
The Accelerate TEXAS initiative is aimed at accelerating the employment prospects of the estimated 44 percent of Texans over age 25 who have never been to college, let alone earned a credential. Of the 3,000 students who earned a workforce credential through Accelerate TEXAS, 71 percent were employed or enrolled in college three to six months after program completion, as of Sept. 2014.
“Accelerate TEXAS supports the state’s strategic plan for higher education, 60x30TX, by providing high-quality education programs for educationally underserved adults,” said Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes.
“We know that many adult learners in the state are not prepared to enter college and succeed. Accelerate TEXAS colleges are showing how integrating basic skills and workforce training can help adult learners earn credentials, resulting in greater individual success and increased economic prosperity for the state,” Paredes said.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) funds Accelerate TEXAS and provides services at state community and technical college districts and campuses in partnership with federally-supported adult education and literacy programs funded by the Texas Workforce Commission.
“The Texas Workforce Commission is proud to collaborate with the Coordinating Board on the Accelerate TEXAS initiative to provide adult learners with opportunities to gain valuable skills and enter high-demand careers,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Through integrated, innovative models like these, local partners collaborate to improve the literacy and workforce skills of adults across the state, while helping maintain the competitive workforce necessary for continued economic prosperity in Texas.”
Collaboration among employers, workforce boards, adult education providers, and community-based organizations is also increasing as the colleges develop and implement integrated pathway programs.
“Partnering with all these groups is crucial to meeting adult learners’ diverse needs,” said David Gardner, THECB deputy commissioner for academic planning and policy. “Texas is truly a national leader in bringing together critical stakeholders to help close achievement gaps and build a highly competitive state workforce.”
Follow Accelerate TEXAS Week activities on Twitter with #AccelerateTX.