UT System partners with Texas Association of Community Colleges on statewide dual credit task force

AUSTIN—The University of Texas System and the Texas Association of Community Colleges have partnered to form the Texas Dual Credit Task Force—a first-of-its-kind collaboration to study programs that allow students to earn both high school and college credit for one course.

The task force will convene its first meeting Friday (February 10) in Austin.

In recent years, rapid expansion of the availability and diversity of dual credit options has resulted in significant growth of enrollments, including admission of increasingly younger students. The goal of the task force is to provide the state with the analysis and context necessary to ensure the rigor, consistency and quality of dual credit partnerships and programs statewide.

Led by Wanda Mercer, UT System associate vice chancellor for student affairs, and Steven Johnson, Texas Association of Community Colleges senior vice president and chief operating officer, the task force will include representatives from both secondary and postsecondary education across Texas, as well as representatives from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Workforce Commission.

“Dual credit programs have experienced remarkable growth in recent years. We want to ensure that students have access to effective, high-quality dual credit programs that equip them with the knowledge and skills to complete certificates, associate degrees and baccalaureate degrees,” Mercer said. “At the end of the day, we want graduates from all Texas institutions to strengthen the state’s workforce with their skills.”

Task force representation includes:

  • Andres Alcantar, chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission
  • Jerel Booker, assistant commissioner for college readiness and success at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • H.D. Chambers, superintendent of Alief ISD
  • Jodi Duron, superintendent of Elgin ISD
  • Julie Eklund, assistant commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • Cynthia Ferrell, executive director of the Texas Success Center at the Texas Association of Community Colleges
  • John Fitzpatrick, executive director of Educate Texas
  • David Gardner, deputy commissioner and chief academic officer at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • Aimee Hendrix, UT System research analyst
  • Rosemary Haggett, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the University of North Texas System
  • Laura Hartmann, UT System associate vice chancellor for governmental relations
  • John Hayek, vice chancellor for academic affairs at the Texas State University System
  • Don Hudson, vice president of data and research at the Texas Association of Community Colleges
  • Steven Johnson, co-chair of the Texas Dual Credit Task Force
  • Rebecca Karoff, UT System associate vice chancellor for academic affairs
  • Harrison Keller, UT Austin deputy to the president for strategy and policy
  • Teri Longacre, vice provost and dean for undergraduate studies at the University of Houston
  • Elizabeth Mayer, UT System research and policy analyst
  • Wanda Mercer, co-chair of the Texas Dual Credit Task Force
  • Richard Moore, executive director of the Texas Community College Teachers Association
  • John Opperman, vice chancellor for academic affairs at the Texas Tech University System
  • Rex Peebles, assistant commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • James Hallmark, vice chancellor for academic affairs at the Texas A&M University System
  • Elizabeth Puthoff, vice president for research and policy analysis at the Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc.
  • James Henry Russell, president of Texarkana College
  • Ivette Savina, UT El Paso assistant vice president for outreach and student success
  • William Serrata, president of El Paso Community College
  • Quentin Suffren, executive director of college, career and military preparation at the Texas Education Agency
  • David Troutman, UT System associate vice chancellor for strategic initiatives
  • Brian Woods, superintendent of Northside ISD
  • Michael Zavada, UT Permian Basin dean of the college of arts and sciences

Educators throughout the state of Texas, with its growing preK-12 population, are focused more than ever on strengthening the student pipeline, college readiness and more seamless transfer from high school to college.  The UT System through the Texas Prospect Initiative, one of Chancellor William H. McRaven's Quantum Leaps, and the Texas Association of Community Colleges through the Texas Pathways Project, are dedicating significant attention to these issues. Both entities recognize the benefits of joining forces to convene other educational stakeholders statewide to focus on dual credit.

After the initial meeting Friday, where UT System Deputy Chancellor David E. Daniel and Texas Association of Community Colleges CEO and President Jacob Fraire will deliver the charge, the task force plans to work over the next several months to gather data and develop possible solutions.

“I look forward to this collaborative effort to ensure that Texas high school students can be successful as they transition from high school to postsecondary programs,” Johnson said.

About The Texas Association of Community Colleges

The Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) is a non-profit association that includes all 50 public community college districts in the state. State funding and legislation affecting public community colleges in general have been and remain the principal concerns of TACC. The community colleges of Texas understand that the most critical part of their mission focuses on the success of the students who seek educational opportunities at our institutions.

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. With 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 228,000, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates almost two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2017 is $17.9 billion, including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and many members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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