A REGIONAL APPROACH
Increasing the number of students who attain post-high school degrees is crucial to the success of our region. No one institution can do this alone. Getting there requires the collective impact of our region’s educators and leaders to address dozens of factors: from increasing students’ awareness of their college options, to clearing financial hurdles, to ensuring that students arrive ready to learn and graduate. A collaboration among Houston A+ Challenge, the University of Texas at Austin, the Institute for Evidence Based Change, and the Houston Endowment, Gulf Coast Partners Achieving Student Success (GC PASS) is leading the region to postsecondary success.
Out of every 100 Texas eighth graders, only 22 earn any kind of higher education degree or certificate within six years of graduating high school. Out of 100 African American and Latino students, only 11 earn a degree.
Opening the Gates to Post-Secondary Success
Through the three-year Gulf Coast PASS initiative, community college and K-12 district teams collaborate on projects aimed at improving college readiness and success. Though each college and district’s projects are unique, all are founded on proven best practices and are informed by student data. Three main strategies define their work:
The regional, three-year project is directed, coordinated and evaluated by The University of Texas at Austin’s Student Success Initiatives, and involves eight community college systems and 11 public K-12 school districts in the Houston region.
- Brazosport College
- College of the Mainland
- Galveston College
- Houston Community College System
- Lee College
- Lone Star College System
- San Jacinto College District
- Wharton County Junior College
Public K-12 School District(s)
- Brazosport ISD
- Hitchcock ISD
- Galveston ISD
- Houston ISD and Spring Branch ISD
- Goose Creek CISD
- Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and Spring ISD
- Pasadena ISD and Sheldon ISD
- Wharton ISD
MANY STRATEGIES, ONE VISION
More Students College Bound in Hitchcock
“Of the 54 graduates at Hitchcock High School, 91 percent have a college waiting for them. Two years ago only 25 percent enrolled in college. ” Read why superintendent Barbara Derrick attributes this success to Gulf Coast PASS. Read more
The Progress of the Gulf Coast PASS Initiative
June Giddings, GC PASS Coordinator, talks with the Texas College and Career Readiness Network about three years of progress bridging the divide between high schools and colleges and GC PASS’s plans for the future. Read more
A College Completion Idea That’s So Simple. Why Aren’t We Doing It?
Brad Phillips, President of GC PASS partner organization Institute for Evidence Based Change, writes in Huffington Post about the great divide between high school and college governing bodies, the curriculum gaps that result, and the alignment guides developed through GC PASS to address the problem. Read more
Home Libraries for Hitchcock Head Start kids, thanks to Home Depot, College of the Mainland
Hitchcock ISD and College of the Mainland connected through the Gulf Coast PASS initiative, beginning a fruitful partnership that now extends all the way to preschool. Read how College of the Mainland is promoting literacy by ensuring that Hitchcock Head Start students have not only books, but shelves to keep them. Read more
PARTNERS IN GULF COAST SUCCESS
The regional, three-year GC PASS initiative is made possible through a generous grant by Houston Endowment to The University of Texas at Austin’s Student Success Initiatives, which provides direction, coordination and evaluation for the project.
Houston A+ Challenge leads the college awareness focus for the project, by helping ISDs inventory and evaluate their current college-focused activities, share best practices, and develop and implement plans to enhance their district-wide college-bound culture. Houston A+ Challenge also convenes three annual GC PASS Institutes to ensure that the project is continually informed by the latest national, state and local research and promising practices.
The Institute for Evidence-Based Change leads the data focus for the project, by collecting and analyzing data for all partners, developing web-based tools for easy data access, training users on data-informed decision-making, designing and integrating achievement metrics, and partnering in the development and support of vertical alignment teams.