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Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education 2007 Conference February 2, 2007 College Connection: A Closing the Gaps Initiative Dr. Maggie de la Teja, Dean of Student Services Dr. Richard Armenta, Assoc. VP, Student Success Austin Community College

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College Connection:AClosing the GapsInitiativeDr. Maggie de la Teja, Dean of Student ServicesDr. Richard Armenta, Assoc. VP, Student SuccessAustin Community College

Empowering Latinos to Seek Higher Education

what is closing the gaps
What is “Closing the Gaps?”
  • Too few high school graduates entering college
  • Rapidly changing population increases among traditionally underrepresented groups
  • By 2025 Latinos and Blacks will account for more than 55.4% (16.4 million) of Texas population
  • College-going rate lags among minorities
  • In 2002 Latinos and Blacks accounted for 51% of the age group 15-34 population, but only 36% of college and university enrollments
  • Texas 2000 initiative to increase college enrollment, especially of underrepresented students
closing the gaps
Closing the Gaps
  • State must increase Latino college-going participation rates by 2015
  • Goal to increase overall enrollment in higher education by 630,000 by 2015; increase overall college-going rate from 5.0% in 2000 to 5.7% by 2015
  • College-going rate lags among minority populations, particularly Latinos, 3.7% in 2000
  • Goal is to increase college-going rate for Latinos by 2010 to 4.8% and to 5.7% by 2015 so as to improve quality of life and to maintain State economic advantage
closing the gaps5
Closing the Gaps
  • Closing the Gaps warns that if more Texans do not receive college degrees by 2030, the State could lose up to $40 billion in annual household income
  • Most students (over 50%) will elect to start at a community college, especially Latinos
  • Austin Community College expects 15,000 more students by 2015
goals for improving high school to college transitions
Goals for Improving High School to College Transitions
  • Create a culture/expectation that “college is in everyone’s future”
  • Improve/increase percentage of high school graduates who enter college
    • About 54% college-going rate in Texas1
  • Improve/increase number of high school students who earn college credit while in high school

- About 6% are dual enrolled in Texas2

1 – Source: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/Reports

2 – Source: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/hsinit/papers/dual.pdf

improve college readiness
Improve “College Readiness”
  • Reduce high school drop-out rates
  • Reduce number of students who need developmental/ remedial education before entering college credit
    • 60% of Latinos are under prepared in Texas1
  • Enhance science and math education

1 – Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board – Developmental Education: Statewide Data Profile

steps to a college connection initiative
Steps to a College Connection Initiative
  • Identify school districts/schools in service areaand data about college-going rates
  • Designate high-level college administrator to take the lead for the College Connection program
  • College administrator (lead) meets and discusses College Connection with superintendents of the school districts
  • Participating school personnel invited to meet with the college administrator lead and a team of Student Services and other college representatives to plan the various high school senior student activities (complete the Activity Grid)
college going rates10
College-Going Rates
  • Average Rate – 50% for 26 school districts1
  • Range – 30% in Luling ISD (124 Seniors) to 72% in Dripping Springs ISD (234 Seniors)
    • Compared to 54% college-going rate for Texas

1 – Source: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/Reports

district service area acc a critical regional resource
District Service AreaACC: A Critical Regional Resource

Black = In-district

Green = Out-of-District

acc service area ethnic distribution 18 44 population 2005 1













ACC Service Area Ethnic Distribution 18-44 Population (2005)1

1 – Source: Austin Community College Fact Book 2005-2006

acc student ethnic distribution fall 2005 1
ACC Student Ethnic Distribution (Fall 2005)1

1 – Source: Austin Community College Fact Book 2005-2006

may 2006 high school graduates participating in college connection ethnic distribution 1
May 2006 High School Graduates Participating in College ConnectionEthnic Distribution1

Total Students Served


1 – Source: Austin Community College Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Accountability

May 2006 High School Graduates Participating in College Connection Enrolled Fall 2006 At ACC Ethnic Distribution1

Total Students Enrolled


1 – Source: Austin Community College Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Accountability

steps to a college connection initiative16
Steps to a College Connection Initiative
  • The College administrator lead and data analysts obtain senior students’ testing scores and other data from the district
  • College Student Services leads in admissions, financial aid, assessment testing, academic advising, counseling, and recruitment go to the school campus and provide services
  • Completion of the Admissions Application is usually in the fall
  • Financial Aid services are provided in the spring to give students adequate time to gather income tax forms. Parents are invited to be a part of this process
  • Assessment Testing is usually in the spring
  • Online pre-advising (orientation) is then completed at the high school during class time or during advisory periods
  • One-on-one academic advising is completed at the high school with a college advisor/counselor in the spring
college connection program
College Connection Program
  • Many high school students find the college enrollment process intimidating.
  • Austin Community College provides hands-on, one-on-onesupport to assist every student through each step of the college admissions process.
  • During graduation ceremonies, high school graduating seniors receive acceptance letters to Austin Community College.
what is the austin community college college connection
What is the Austin Community College College Connection?
  • Alignment of outreach efforts
  • A collaboration among various departments at ACC and with the school districts
  • Removal of barriers to college information/enrollment
  • Hands-on assistance to students
  • Intensive connection with high school students and staff
  • 100% high school senior participation
  • Formal acceptance to college for every high school senior
college connection activity grid sample
College ConnectionActivity Grid Sample

San Marcos Lead: Chad Kelly, 512-393-6800, chad.kelly@smcisd.net Senior Count: 424 (SMHS)

Cecily Moore, 512-393-6800, cecily.moore@smcisd.net 16 (Pride HS)

ACC Lead: Mary Hensley, 223-7618, mhensley@austincc.edu/Luanne Preston, 223-7355, luanne@austincc.edu

Admin. Assistant: Esther Buzard, 223-7618, ebuzard@austincc.edu/Laurie Clark, 223-7353, lclark2@austincc.edu

SHADED – Required College Connection Activities

uses of technology
Uses of Technology
  • Listservs to facilitate communication
  • Website with activity details
  • I-cal online calendar
  • Senior Assembly/Student Recruitment Presentation on Internet
  • Admissions Application on Internet
  • Teletour on Internet
  • Pre-advising (101) on Internet
mobile go center
Mobile Go Center

The ACC Mobile Go Center stops at schools, shopping malls, community centers, and other locations to bring college-related information, motivation, and assistance directly to students and their families. Mobile Go Centers are part of the College for Texans Campaign to support state Closing the Gaps efforts to draw an additional 630,000 Texans into colleges and universities by 2015.

college connection program participants
College Connection ProgramParticipants

2006-2007 (Year 4)

Austin ISD

Blanco ISD

Bastrop ISD

Del Valle ISD

Elgin ISD

Fredericksburg ISD

Harper ISD


Jarrell ISD

Johnson City ISD

Lago Vista ISD

Leander ISD

Liberty Hill ISD

Lockhart ISD

Luling ISD

Manor ISD

Nixon-Smiley CISD

Pflugerville ISD

Prairie Lea ISD

Round Rock ISD

San Marcos CISD

Smithville ISD

2003-2004 (Year 1)

San Marcos CISD

2004-2005 (Year 2)

Austin ISD

Bastrop ISD

Del Valle ISD

Leander ISD

San Marcos CISD

2005-2006 (Year 3)

Austin ISD

Bastrop ISD

Del Valle ISD


Leander ISD

Manor ISD

Pflugerville ISD

San Marcos CISD

steps to a college connection initiative27
Steps to a College Connection Initiative
  • A high-level college administrator participates in the high school graduation ceremony if requested; each high school senior student participant receives a college admissions letter at the same time he/she receives a high school diploma
  • Evaluation of the College Connection program activities occurs at the college and at the high school to improve the process for the next year
  • While all these activities are occurring the administrator responsible for the College Connection program seeks grant funding to expand the program and funds for student scholarships
the acc college connection program works
The ACC College Connection Program Works!

Source: http://www.txhighereddata.org/Reports and ACC Office Of Institutional Effectiveness and Accountability

the austin community college college connection program works
The Austin Community CollegeCollege Connection Program Works!

Blue=Year after College Connection started

1-Source: http://www.txhighereddata.org/Reports/PDF/0961.pdf

2-Source: http://www.txhighereddata.org/Reports/PDF/0963.pdf

3-Source: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/Reports/PDF/1161.PDF

college connection results for austin community college fall 2005
College Connection Results for Austin Community CollegeFall 2005
  • Positive effect on fall enrollments
    • 28.49% increase in enrollment from College Connection High Schools from Fall 2003 to Fall 2006
  • Positive effect on Early College Start/Dual Credit enrollments
    • 25.6% increase in enrollment from Fall 2004 to Fall 2005
  • Positive effect on Tech Prep enrollments (high school students are able to take college technical courses for free and earn Tech Prep credit after the student successfully completes one college credit course at ACC)
    • Significant increase in number of students receiving Tech Prep credit from Fall 2004 to Fall 2005
college connection budget implications
College ConnectionBudget Implications
  • ISDs not charged—free to them
  • Replaces traditional recruitment activities
  • FY06 Budget

College Connection $100,000+additional institutional funding=$989,000 (Covers existing, redeployed staff and resources plus additional Student Recruitment, Admissions, Financial Aid, and Testing staff and materials)

  • FY07 increased grant funding—$277,000
college connection
College Connection

Related Initiatives:

  • Mini-College Connection for Adult Education
  • College Connection Scholarships
other community colleges adopting college connection program
Other Community Colleges Adopting College Connection Program
  • Alamo Community College District
  • Coastal Bend Community College
  • Del Mar Community College
  • Houston Community College District
  • Temple Community College
  • Victoria Community College
steps to a college connection initiative36
Austin Community College College Connection Program is a 2006 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Star Award Winner

College Connection is the 2007 Bellwether Award winner from the Community College Futures Assembly

Your institution’s Next Step? Create an award winning College Connection program

Steps to a College Connection Initiative
“Attaining advanced levels of education for disadvantaged students cannot be done without developing a college-going culture in every middle school and high school in the state of Texas...then suddenly, (going to college) changes from being a possibility to an expectation.”

--Raymund Paredes

Commissioner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

January 6, 2005

to see a copy of this presentation please go to this link

To see a copy of this presentation, please go to this link:


dr maggie de la teja
Dr. Maggie de la Teja

Austin Community CollegeDean of Student Services

1820 W. Stassney LaneAustin, TX 78745

(512) 223-9154(512) 223-9174 (fax)


mary hensley ed d
Mary Hensley, Ed.D.

Austin Community CollegeVice President College Support Systems and ISD Relations

5930 Middle Fiskville RoadAustin, TX 78754

(512) 223-7618(512) 223-7895 (fax)