The enthusiasm was palpable, as was the determination to make a difference. As educators, employers and supporters from throughout North Texas came together at UTA’s College Park Center to talk about the future of education in Texas, it was refreshing to feel the energy that these leaders are investing toward the task at hand. That task, announced by Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), is known as 60x30TX. The cryptic nomenclature reflects the essence of the challenge: ensure that 60 percent of all Texans ages 25 to 34 hold a postsecondary certificate or degree by 2030. Additional goals include graduating at least 550,000 postsecondary students by 2030, and ensuring that those graduates complete programs with identifiable marketable skills and manageable student debt.
This is no small task! The good news is that Texas’ best and brightest are up to the challenge. We know that the vitality of the Texas economy depends upon our developing paths to meet both workforce and intellectual capital needs of the State. By achieving the 60x30TX goals, we will ensure the economic strength of the Great State of Texas, its robust diversity, and the prosperity of future generations.
The conference at UTA was just the first step of many. UTA has been a leader in ensuring access and excellence and many of the initiatives already established by UTA from University Crossroads and the GO Centers, to the Bound for Success Programs, and the STEM and Teacher Academies provide examples for further efforts. Our strong and growing partnerships with ISDs and 2-year colleges provide tremendous foundations on which we must now build new innovative programs that ensure academic and professional success for all students.
Critical data is being gathered and analyzed to inform good decisions, but it will be the innovative thinking of each participant that will get us to where we want to go. Insightful leaders such as Kati Haycock, CEO of The Education Trust, and Raymund Paredes, Commissioner of the THECB, will continue to inspire new and strong partnerships that will assure the future of Texas as we work together to ensure that the promise of higher education is not just a dream but is attainable for Texans of all backgrounds. I am confident that just as we have in the past, UTA will lead in establishing bold solutions for local and global impact.
Explore the materials and presentations from UTA’s 60x30TX Conference HERE.