The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) launched its sixth annual Texas Public Higher Education Almanac as part of the agency’s core function to promote transparency and accountability among Texas public institutions of higher education. The 2016 Almanac provides higher education facts and performance data that allow users to compare Texas public higher education institutions. These data provide a snapshot of Texas’ success in achieving the state’s 2000-2015 higher education plan, Closing the Gaps by 2015. The Almanac draws from data found in the agency’s accountability system — long recognized as a “best practice” national model for higher education performance data.
“The Almanac was originated by the Coordinating Board to more effectively communicate Texas higher education data,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Raymund Paredes.“ These data include the many accomplishments achieved under Closing the Gaps. Now we have entered a new era under 60x30TX, the state’s new strategic plan that promotes innovative, student-centered goals of completion of high-quality credentials, identifiable marketable skills, and the ability to move students into the workforce without crushing loan debt. We won’t reach our goals by doing business as usual.”
The 2016 almanac includes a statewide student debt profile. The almanac institutional profiles now include average student debt of undergraduate completers of bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, and certificates and the percent of undergraduate completers with debt. All student loan debt of undergraduate completers reported to the THECB is included, such as federal and state loans, parent PLUS loans, and private educational loans. Undergraduate completers reported with any debt in the categories noted above are included in the percent-with-debt calculation.
To better help students and parents make informed decisions about the value of higher education, the THECB provides an online companion to the Almanac at www.CompareCollegeTX.com. This interactive tool – funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — allows users to make side-by-side comparisons of Texas higher education institutions based on measures reported in the Almanac. Produced in collaboration with College Measures, this comprehensive, mobile-friendly tool also links to wage data for graduates by degree level and major for individual Texas public higher education institutions. The Almanac and CompareCollegeTX.com are designed to place the most relevant data and information on Texas public institutional performance in the hands of policymakers, students, parents and the general public. The THECB compiled and organized existing data for use in the almanac. Private funding paid for the design, printing and delivery.