The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board was formed in 1965 by the Texas Legislature and charged with the job of providing coordination and leadership for the Texas higher education system. Currently, the board is focused on Closing the Gaps by 2015, and is doing so by working with people and organizations statewide, ranging from the Legislature to the Governor to higher education institutions all over the state.
Realizing that research, innovation and planning are necessary in order to positively affect future students in Texas, the THECB is undergoing a strategic planning process jointly supported by the Houston Endowment, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Meadows Foundation and Greater Texas Foundation. The primary goal of the THECB’s strategic planning process is to establish an outcomes based student-centered culture at all Texas public colleges and universities. The benefits of a university with a student-centered culture are immeasurable. In these institutions, student success is the highest campus priority, as measured by the number and percentage of students who complete rigorous programs and degrees with the measurable skills necessary for success beyond undergraduate education.
Current data on student progress and achievement in the state show areas that require quick attention if educational outcomes for students are to improve. In Texas, less than half of those enrolling in post-secondary education go on to complete a post-secondary degree or credential within seven years of graduating high school. This disconnect is currently the focus and central theme in the statewide Closing the Gaps initiative, with goals to increase rates of post-secondary participation and completion in Texas. The total project cost is $546,000 with Greater Texas Foundation contributing $108,000 to support the process facilitated by FSG Social Impact Advisors. Beyond the creation of a strategic plan, FSG will also aid with the development of methods and strategies to implement and achieve these goals. The plan is estimated to finish in March 2010.
Visit the Coordinating Board website to read more about the Closing the Gaps Initiative.