The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create a consumer-focused 60x30TX website that promotes the new strategic plan for higher education in Texas. As a result of receiving the grant, the Texas Tribune has agreed to promote the new 60x30TX website for the first two months of its launch.
The 60x30TX website will socialize the strategic plan, through an interactive platform with filterable data relevant to each of the four goals. It will make information easily accessible to a wide range of consumers, from media and legislators to students and families, providing readily accessible information drawn from the accountability website.
Although the grant is mostly geared toward the development of the website, it will also enable the THECB to employ a full-time staff person to train others in use of the data on the 60x30TX website and the new accountability system. Having a staff member available for training and presentation of the data is imperative and will help in the successful promotion of the strategic plan.
As a Board member, you can help promote the new 60x30TX site sharing it with stakeholders in your community and region. All promotional activities will include a link to the 60x30TX website.
More details will be provided as we get closer to “go live.”
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.
The College for All Texans Foundation (CFAT) is soliciting applications from institutions of higher education to develop and implement new Texas Affordable Baccalaureate (TAB) degrees programs. It is anticipated (although not required) that applications submitted will propose programs that are competency-based, meaning they are built with an intentional, transparent approach to curricular design using an academic model in which the time it takes to demonstrate learning varies and expectations what must be learned are held constant. Students acquire and demonstrate their knowledge and skills by engaging in learning exercises, activities, and experiences that align with clearly defined programmatic outcomes. Students receive proactive guidance and support from faculty and staff. Learners earn credentials by demonstrating proficiency or mastery through multiple forms of assessment, often at a personalized pace. The Competency-Based Education Network is a national consortium for designing, developing, and scaling competency-based programs and can serve as a resource to institutions.
Awards of up to $170,000 will require a minimum of a one-to-one match from participating institutions. These grants are intended as “seed grants” to assist in the development of TAB programs and will require institutional commitment for sustainability. Applications are due July 13, 2016.
For additional details and copy of the Request for Application (RFA), please visit www.thecb.state.tx.us/TABGrant.