ANNOUNCING GRANT TO SUPPORT COLLEGES IN TEXAS
Catch the Next, Inc., a non-profit award-winning college-readiness organization, is proud to announce a two year grant from the Greater Texas Foundation in the amount of $ 714,000; and a one year grant from The Meadows Foundation in the amount of $75,000 to scale up its Ascender Framework for Student Advancement. The grant will scale the program in regions identified by The Texas Regional Action Plan as critical for improving college completion rates. The regions targeted by CTN in its Campaign for College Completion have eighty one percent (81%) of the Texas population and 83% of them are Latinos. Each region has a large and growing at-risk population with low educational attainment.
The following are the colleges in Texas to be supported by this grant:
Alamo Colleges District’s Northeast Lakeview College, in Universal City; San Antonio College, St Philip’s College and Palo Alto College in San Antonio; Round Rock Campus in Round Rock; South Campus, Riverside, and Highland campuses in Austin, and the Hays campus in Kyle which are part of the Austin Community College District; Rio Grande Campus, The Valle Verde Campus and The Transmountain Campus which are part of the El Paso Community College District in El Paso. The grant will also support the Pecan Campus in McAllen; the Starr Campus in Rio Grande City and the Mid Valley Campus in Weslaco which are all part of the South Texas Colleges.
The grant will also cover funding for a longitudinal study 2012-2017 of CTN's work by the Texas Education Research Center, and the grant will support student engagement in CTN’s annual motivational conference.
The Greater Texas Foundation supports efforts to ensure all Texas students are prepared for, have access to, persist in, and complete post-secondary education. The foundation puts particular focus on helping underserved and disadvantaged populations given that only one in five Texas youth who enter high school complete a postsecondary degree or credential. Further, three out of five Texas students who enroll in post-secondary education do not attain a credential within six years.
The GTF pursues its mission by forming partnerships, supporting research, sharing knowledge and making grants. The Greater Texas Foundation through its funding is helping to create greater connections among regional systems that support the ability of all students to succeed.
The Meadows Foundation’s mission is to assist the people and institutions of Texas in improving the quality and circumstances of life for themselves and future generations. One of its three major initiatives is education. The Meadows Foundation recognizes that a large gap exists among racial and ethnic groups in both enrollment and graduation from the state’s colleges and universities and unless Texas raises Hispanic educational outcomes, economic competitiveness and quality of life will decline in the state. Only by reversing Texas’ declining enrollment and graduation rates, and building excellence in education, can the state compete successfully. Thus, the key is improving Hispanic participation rates and increasing the overall number of students completing bachelor’s and associate’s degrees and certificates.
Catch the Next, Inc., has been implementing its program since 2012 with great success in partnership with colleges across Texas committed to closing the achievement gap in the state. Other key partners include The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; The University of Texas Department of Educational Leadership and Policy; the University of Texas Division of Diversity and Community Engagement; The Texas Education Research Center and the Dana Center Mathways Project at UT Austin.
The CTN Ascender Framework for Student Advancement engages and retains students through a rigorous, culturally-relevant curriculum across multiple courses/disciplines (learning communities); individualized advising , personal counseling and mentoring; leadership development and community outreach. We engage faculty, staff, and administration through intensive, experiential seminars (three times per year) and monthly webinars; ongoing college, campus and individual peer mentoring by experienced practitioners; and a national peer mentoring program to promote career and personal development. CTN creates a network of support for the students who need it the most.
In Texas, 48% of students entering community colleges are not yet “college ready,” according to Texas Success Initiative placement standards. Among entering college students, only 8% of African American students and 12% of Latino students are considered college ready across all areas. And of those who do enter at developmental levels, only 9% earn a degree or certificate within six years. Because the economic future of Texas looks bleak if these trends continue, state policy seeks to accelerate developmental education.
Catch the Next is leading the movement toward acceleration to meet the challenges and needs of colleges, professors, and, above all, students. CTN’s Ascender program achieves this momentum by offering a first-year experience program that centers on student cohorts and learning communities while offering a teaching approach that builds on students’ assets. The success rate of students participating in the CTN program since 2012 is 83 percent.
Recognized as a winner of the Gates Foundation’s What’s Next in Higher Education (2013) and by the THECB as a partner in its 60x30TX strategic plan, Catch the Next was a finalist in the community-based organizations category as an Example of Excelencia from the Washington D.C. think-tank, Excelencia in Education.
With partners in thought and action like the Greater Texas Foundation and The Meadows Foundation, Catch the Next is poised to improve and increase post-secondary educational attainment for all Texans.
Find more information about the program at www.catchthenext.org.