Texas Student Success Council

In Texas, less than 20 percent of eighth-graders go on to complete a higher education credential within six years — and for low-income and minority students, this percentage can dip below 10 percent. Yet of the 11.6 million jobs created nationally since the recession, 11.5 million require such a credential. The Texas Student Success Council was created in 2012 to address this disconnect by focusing on polcies that create smooth, streamlined pathways into, through and among institutions of higher education through:

  • Improved K-12 and higher education linkages
  • Portability of credits and credentials
  • Stronger education and workforce alignment

Educate Texas convenes the Council, which brings together diverse stakeholders to advance and advocate policy that promotes increased postsecondary student success that prepares them to compete in the
21st century economy. Convened by Educate Texas and chaired by Dr. William Serrata (President of El Paso Community College), the Council is comprised of state and field stakeholders representing education (K-16), business and philanthropy, and has been fortunate to have the Chairs of the House and Senate Higher Education Committees, the Commissioner of Education, the Commissioner of Higher Education and the Chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission serving as Ex Officio members. The Council:

  • Develops policy recommendations based on research, evidence and best practices aimed at addressing key barriers to higher education student success
  • Educates and informs policymakers about key policy issues
  • Builds momentum for policy changes through collective action before and during the legislative session

This initiative has been highlighted by Jobs for the Future as a national best practice for this work.

Texas Student Success Council Members

K-12
MEMBER NAME INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
Kim Alexander Roscoe ISD
HD Chambers Alief ISD
Danny King Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD
David Vinson Wylie ISD
COMMUNITY COLLEGES
MEMBER NAME COLLEGE
Jacob Fraire TACC
Steve Head Lone Star College System
Brenda Hellyer San Jacinto College
Russell Lowery-Hart Amarillo College
Joe May Dallas County Community College District
Richard Rhodes Austin Community College
William Serrata El Paso Community College, Chair
Greg Williams Odessa College
UNIVERSITY
MEMBER NAME UNIVERSITY
Guy Bailey University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Katie Brock University of Texas at Austin
Martha Ellis Charles A. Dana Center
James Hallmark Texas A&M University System
Ray Martinez Independent Colleges & Universities of Texas
Brian McCall Texas State University System
BUSINESS / WORKFORCE
MEMBER NAME ORGANIZATION OR COMPANY
Tony Bennett Texas Association of Manufacturers
Drexell Owusu Dallas Regional Chamber
Justin Yancy Texas Business Leadership Council
PHILANTHROPY
MEMBER NAME FOUNDATION OR ORGANIZATION
Kristin Boyer Trellis Foundation
Adrianna Cuellar Rojas United Ways of Texas
Charles Glover Meadows Foundation
Sue McMillin Greater Texas Foundation
Wynn Rosser TLL Temple Foundation
EX OFFICIO
MEMBER NAME AGENCY OR COMMITTEE
JM Lozano House Higher Education Committee
Mike Morath Texas Education Agency
Raymund Paredes Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Kel Seliger Senate Higher Education Committee
AFFILIATE MEMBERS
MEMBER NAME FOUNDATION OR ORGANIZATION
Jennifer Esterline Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium
Cynthia Ferrell Texas Success Center
Carolyn Landel Charles A. Dana Center
Rissa McGuire Council for Public University Presidents and Chancellors
Mark Milliron Civitas Learning
Evelyn Waiwaiole Center for Community College Student Engagement

By helping students minimize the time and expense of obtaining a workforce-relevant degree or credential, the Council is driving success not only at the student level, but at the community and state level as well.

Policy Briefs