Rural Community College Alliance, Greater Texas Foundation and Economic Mobility Systems Pioneer College Rural Promise Program to Advance Education and Workforce Opportunities for Texas Students

DALLAS, Aug. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Rural Community College Alliance (RCCA), Greater Texas Foundation (GTF) and Economic Mobility Systems (EMS) at the Commit Partnership today announced the launch of a pioneering, collaborative program to produce stronger and more equitable college and workforce outcomes for rural Texas students.                                                                                        

Funded by a three-year $3.1 million grant from Greater Texas Foundation, the Rural College Promise program will involve three community colleges — Grayson College, Tyler Junior College and North Central Texas College — and the rural counties they serve across north and east Texas.  Supporting partners also include the National College Promise Campaign and Phi Theta Kappa.

In addition to supporting local students and communities, the colleges will partner with RCCA and EMS to develop a repeatable, affordable and scalable model for rural communities across Texas as a roadmap for rural America.

"Rural community colleges are the neighborhood schools of higher education, serving the nearly 90 million Americans who live in our rural communities." said Emily Klement, Vice President, RCCA.  "Many students in rural communities are economically disadvantaged, and a small percentage of them pursue higher education. Our goal for the Rural College Promise program is to help more of our high school-graduating seniors enroll and complete a higher education degree, which is a critical requirement to securing more highly skilled living wage jobs that will be a catalyst for rural economic development."

In addition to developing a structure for more affordable college pathways, the grant will cover access to leading edge technologies and solutions designed by Economic Mobility Systems (EMS) on equity platforms like Salesforce and GreenLight Credentials. EMS Solutions will enable local high schools to case manage each student to ensure they are completing the steps for entry to college programs aligned to living wage jobs. Through the new College Enrollment Fast Pass on GreenLight, students will be able to own and send their verified high school records to colleges and employers and submit self-uploaded enrollment documents.  Leveraging the new College and Career Solutions dashboards on Salesforce, high school and college advisors will have greater visibility to support the student transition from high school to college and eventually through living wage employment.

"Texas needs more intentional regional talent strategies to remain competitive in a fast-changing world," said Sue McMillin, President and CEO, Greater Texas Foundation. "Yet, too many young people in rural communities lack the opportunity and tools to get ahead, educationally, and economically.  This grant is an investment to accelerate proven strategies and bring game changing technologies to rural communities."

The technologies and tools covered by the grant have been successfully utilized by the Texas Talent Regions, including the Dallas County Promise, Alamo Promise, Tarrant To and Through (T3), and the TJC Promise.  The experience of these existing programs will help inform the new Rural College Promise program, tailored to the unique needs of rural communities.

About Greater Texas Foundation: Greater Texas Foundation supports initiatives that increase rates of postsecondary enrollment and completion for all Texas students, with a particular focus on students who may encounter barriers to postsecondary success.  GTF is a private foundation headquartered in Bryan, Texas. Since inception, GTF has approved more than $104 million in grants to support Texas students.

About Rural Community College Alliance: The Rural Community College Alliance (RCCA) helps its member institutions serve the 89.3 million people who reside in rural America. We seek to promote a more economically, culturally, and civically vibrant rural America through advocacy, convening, leveraging resources, and serving as a clearinghouse for innovative practice, policy, and research.

About Economic Mobility Systems: Makes socioeconomic mobility possible by helping regional ecosystems work together with proven school to work strategies and cutting-edge equity platforms that place the student at the center of the regional talent equation. EMS helps regional partners organize and use real time data across the school to work continuum to create a best-in-class continuous improvement model for regional talent.

About Tyler Junior College: TJC is a great first choice for anyone seeking to acquire the skills needed to enter the workforce or for those who want to gain the training and knowledge to transfer to a four-year university. Offering more than 115 degree and certificate programs, TJC enrolls approximately 12,000 students each semester. Since 1926, TJC has embodied the true sense of the term "community college," as reflected in its core values of unity, caring, integrity, empowering and excellence.

About North Central Texas College: Officially established May 20, 1924 and originally named Gainesville Junior College, North Central Texas College is the oldest continuously operating two-year college in Texas and a true pioneer of public community college in the state.  With six campuses located throughout North Texas, NCTC offers its 10,000+ students a variety of degree types in diverse areas of instruction.  Participating campuses include Bowie, Gainesville and Graham.

About Grayson College: Grayson College serves over 4,000 students each term through six pathways and 60+ degrees and certificate programs in university transfer and technical programs. The College’s mission is student success. The two campuses in Denison and Van Alstyne have undergone a multi-year, multi-million-dollar renovation and expansion.

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SOURCE Economic Mobility Systems