Texas Regional STEM Degree Accelerator

In the spring of 2015, Educate Texas partnered with like-minded foundations and corporations to fund the Texas STEM Degree Accelerator program to combat the state’s projected shortfall of 1 million STEM workers by 2018.

The STEM Accelerator program provided three-year grants to five higher education institutions in Dallas, El Paso, Houston, South Texas and West Texas. Each institution convened cross-sector stakeholders — education (two- and four-year colleges and K-12) and workforce — to collaborate on the implementation of STEM degree programs aligned with high-demand regional workforce needs. The STEM Accelerator project was developed in alignment with priorities for education and workforce outlined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Workforce Commission and the regional plans focus on three key areas:

  • Providing professional development for faculty
  • Aligning math pathways from K-12 to higher education to workforce
  • Develop next-generation sector partnerships between education and workforce

The lead grantee, region and the selected STEM pathways included:


Lead Grantee

STEM Pathway

North Texas

Dallas County Community College District

Computer Science


Lee College, Baytown


South Texas

South Texas College, McAllen

Nursing and Computer Science

El Paso

University of Texas El Paso


West Texas

Western Texas College, Snyder


Funders included: the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation, Council for Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development, Greater Texas Foundation, Boeing, Stillwater Foundation, JPMorgan Chase and the Kresge Foundation.

This program concluded in May of 2018, and Educate Texas remains focused on working toward the goal of ensuring that students earn STEM degrees and certificates — both two-year and four-year — that meet the specific workforce needs of leading industries in each region.


STEM Accelerator Overview One Pager

Research Featuring Regional Teams

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Report on Regional Talent Pipelines
Using Workforce Information for Degree Program Planning in Texas