Archive for the ‘GO Centers’ Category User-friendly, comprehensive, encouraging!  User-friendly, comprehensive, encouraging! Schedule a convenient time for you to visit Texas Tech


Hill Country Regional Science Center: & & 844-263-6405

Hill Country Regional Science Center: & & 844-263-6405  Also: & 844-263-6405, x. 1002.  101 South Lady Bird Lane, Johnson, City, TX  78636; PO Box 38; Johnson City, TX  78636

Invite Science Mill staff to

Speak at your community- &/or faith-based organizations — wherever you work, worship, volunteer, learn, play or thrive.

Collaborate with your on-going youth outreach (e.g., Parent Teacher Associations / Organizations; your local educational or booster foundations, Education Service Center Regional staff,Young Life, Closing the Gaps or GO Centers:  Education GO Get It! coalitions;  Rotary EarlyAct / First Knight, Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Youth Leadership Award leadership training, Rotary Youth Exchange, other New Generations/Youth Avenue of Service &/or Vocational Avenue of Service; etc.).  

Schedule field 2+ hour field trips for your children, students, teachers, faculty, Pre-K through graduate & professional-school outreach partners, student-teachers & administrators to get a first-hand experience of the thrill of the hands-on, interactive STEM [or STEAM!] Science, Technology, Engineering, Math / STEM & Arts / STEAM adventures.

Register your youth &/or brainstorm funding sources for your youth entering grades 4 through 8 to participate in

     SCI CAMPS (entering grades 6-8:  June 8-12; June 22-26; July 6-10; July 20-24; July 27-31; Aug. 10-14)

     SHOOT FOR THE STARS!  (entering grades 6-8:  June 15-19)  (entering grades 4-5:  July 13-17)

BioVenture!  (entering grades 6-8:  July 13-17 & Aug. 3-7)  All camps are M-F, 9a-4p.  Camp fee is $300.  Early drop-off & late pick-up times are available in one-hour increments for $25/week & must be paid in advance with registration.  Registration closes May 29.

Details about

SCI CAMP:  Do you like to solve mysteries?  Are you up to the challenge of crisis response?  Are you a creative force?  Ever just wonder how & why your brain works?  How awesome is rocket science?  In just one week, you’ll see what it’s like to be a

  • Forensic Scientist
  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Storm Tracker
  • Chief Innovation Officer
  • Brain Scientist

Shoot for the Stars!  Will you build the fastest, sleekest, most aerodynamic rocket this summer?  Shoot for the stars with us!  [offered in collaboration with SystemsGo]

  • Play with paper airplanes, balloon racers & stomp rockets
  • Watch a movie:  Space Junk 3D
  • Design, build, test & launch your own rocket!
  • Culminating team & individual competitions

BioVenture!  Decode the secrets of DNA & unravel some of the greatest mysteries of biology:

  • Make cheese using biotechnology tools!
  • Solve a crime by using DNA fingerprints!
  • Investigate oil-hungry bacteria to clean up a dangerous oil spill & save the ocean!
  • Be a genetic counselor as you diagnose patients using DNA evidence!
  • Examine mutant worms & what causes their crazy behavior!

GEAR-UP / college-friendly Parent Leadership Institute registration

GEAR-UP / college-friendly Parent Leadership Institute registration

Pumpkins are popping up everywhere we turn, which means that the Texas GEAR UP State Conference is just around the corner! (November 16-18th, to be specific.) This is a quick reminder that the early-bird conference registration rate is good only through October 15th. The cost increases after that—so if you haven’t already registered, do so as soon as possible to take advantage of the lower price. (Also, be sure to book your room at the Radisson Hotel by October 17th to get in on the special group rate.)

The keynote speakers for the conference have officially been announced, so feel free to take a peek to see who will be sharing their words of wisdom with the lucky attendees.

Another deadline that’s fast approaching is the TXGU Parent Leadership Institute registration. The cut-off is October 15th, and space is very limited—so all interested parents should sign up quickly.

We can’t wait to see you in Austin for some innovation and inspiration!

$5K for Outstanding Science Teachers & $2K for their schools:

From: Gail Schatte [] Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 1:54 PM  Subject: Request for promotion of Outstanding Science Teacher Award     On behalf of the Texas Medical Association, I’d like to ask for your help in promoting our outstanding science teacher award.  If you have distribution lists, newsletters, blogs, or Web site space, please consider including information regarding the Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching.     The following, below & attached, was provided to TMA’s membership.  Feel free to forward this to your contacts at your discretion.  Or consider posting our Web site,, as a link on your own awards page. Thank you in advance for your help.     Gail Schatte   Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching   Texas Medical Association   401 W 15th Street   Austin TX 78701   1-800-880-1300, ext 1600   512-370-1600   fax: 512-370-1693   email:   Award Website:



Texas Medical Association is giving away $24,000 in CASH prizes!  Please help us to spread the word!  Three Texas science teachers will receive $5,000 each and an all-expense paid trip to TMA’s annual conference for the presentation ceremony in May 2015!  Their schools will receive a $2,000 award to use toward the science curriculum! In addition, second-place winners receive $1,000 for their schools!


Each year, TMA’s Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching recognizes and rewards schoolteachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels who share their energy and enthusiasm for science with their students.  We do this because innovative teaching supports the basic premise of medicine, that of healthcare having a scientific foundation.


Who’s eligible?  All Texas state-certified, full-time public and private school science teachers with a minimum of two years’ completed classroom experience who will return to teach during the 2015-16 school year are eligible.  All areas of science are welcome.


To nominate science teachers or to apply, visit our Web site at, where you will find more information and the appropriate forms.  The deadline for nominations is Oct. 25 and for applications is Dec. 31.  (All nominees will be contacted by TMA and asked to complete an application.)


Together let’s make sure Texas science teachers are well represented!  Nominate or apply today!     Questions?  Contact Gail Schatte at TMA at (800) 880-1300, 1600, or (512) 370-1600, or

Request 856-member, 300-pg. GO Center list from

Ask & for the most up-to-date version of the 856-member GO Center learning community list — for you to keep, scan through & proactively use to connect with prospective collaborate partners.

A sample of the introduction to the list.

Welcome to the enthusiastic, high-performance GO Center learning community of the Closing the Gaps Council / South Plains P-20 Educational Initiative!

Thank you for perpetually letting ALL families know that being college/career ready is possible, affordable & desirable for them & &

Let’s perpetually uplift each other, accept and give support, take turns leading; encourage, energize and protect each other. & or   

 GO Centers!  Your win-win partners for bottom-line results with your business, health, education; faith, youth, community-based or community-development organization or grant-making/philanthropic/volunteer/civic/fraternal/service association across the 18,966 square miles of the 20-county/Education Service Center Region 17 geographical area of the South Plains of NW Texas.

GO Centers!  — local centers of energy & effort that focus on creating a college-going/career-readiness culture & promoting college/career awareness in the surrounding community.  “College” includes any after-high school (post-secondary) learning:  career class, Adult Basic Education (literacy, GED preparation, English as a Second Language), technical certification; technical, associate, bachelor, master, doctoral, professional or post-graduate degree/certificate.

You are encouraged to proactively connect with any/all GO Centers:   offer to share your resources, audiences & collaborative partnerships.  GO Centers may need what you have or have what you need.

A phone call or e-inquiry to any/all GO Centers may help you discover, maximize & leverage win-win opportunities with GO Centers – to expand your prospective-student baseincrease customer/alumni/donor loyalty, raise positive community awareness about your products or services or to associate your college, university, academic discipline/association/student organization/faith- or community-based organization/business’ brand with positive public image/higher-education stewardship/community engagement.  Other benefits of reaching out to & collaborating with

GO Centers are to [1] increase & strengthen your effectiveness via GO Centers’ respective community/collaborative partnerships – including the mobilization/engagement of youth leaders (, senior citizens & other volunteers; [2]  cultivate prospective partnerships while collaborating with GO Centers; [3] include GO Centers & their collaborative partnerships in your grant proposals; & [4] agree to be included in GO Centers‘ & their collaborative partners’ grant proposals.   

GO Centers‘ on-going successes & learning lessons inform their umbrella organization (Closing the Gaps Council/South Plains P-20 Educational & – created in 2003) about effective ways to support & strengthen GO Centers‘ effectiveness.

Some GO Centers (with computer, youth/family access to Web sites, etc.) offer direct services to students & first generation college families in schools & some after-school & faith-based programs.  Other GO Centers provide indirect services (these GO Centers are individuals, agencies, businesses, programs, institutes, centers, colleges, universities; non-profit, faith- & community-based organizations & even products/services to help direct-service GO Centers — that are reaching students & first generation college families — with resources, products & support they need to promote “Education:  GO Get It!”).  And some GO Centers are specifically on the list because they offer such effective strategies & powerful leverage points — serving as high-performance role models because of the ways they effective creating a college-going culture, inspire other GO Centers & nurture prosperous communities across the South Plains, the state, nation & Planet.

Our Council ( & past board member provide support for GO Centers by offering no-charge products, services, marketing systems, conferences, training opportunities & collaborative connections – in furtherance of GO Centers respective missions.  Ours is a collaborative, voluntary, flexible model designed to sustain dynamic, engaging, thriving, win-win, collaborative partnerships … across time & despite inevitable changes in leadership, legislation, oversight responsibility; organizational structure, personnel or funding sources.

We abide by Rotary International’s motto of service above self & its four-way test:  Of the things we think, say or do [1]  Is it the TRUTH? [2]  Is it FAIR to all concerned?  [3]  Will it build GOOD WILL & BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? & [4] Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?  Rotary is a worldwide network of inspired individuals who translate their passions into relevant social causes to change lives in communitiesenvisioning a world without hunger, with new ideas, where disease is defeated; that respects all faiths, races & cultures; where peace flourishes.  The Rotary Foundation enables Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill & peace through the improvement of health, the support of education & the alleviation of poverty.

We encourage GO Centers to emulate the collaborative spirit between Rotary International & ONE ( — advocating to fight extreme poverty & preventable disease, particularly in Africa; working together to pursue mutual goals & increase humanitarian services.  ONE works with world leaders to support proven, cost-effective ways to save lives & help people build sustainable futures.

GO CentersMobile GO Centers, High School & Collegiate G-Force Teams/Members, Founders & Champions from all institutions of higher education – throughout the 20-county area (Texas Education Agency’s Education Service Center Region XVII) across the South Plains of Texas, the state, nation & Planet.  Ask for an e-version of this color-coded, 278page document with details (below) for all 835 GO Centers.  GO Centers are predominantly in West Texas – mostly in the 20-county/Region 17 Education Service Center area spanning 18,966 square miles, 57 school districts, four charter schools & nearly 77,000 students:  53% Hispanic 38% white & 8% African-American & 1% “other.”  58% economically disadvantaged.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”   Nelson Mandela

“Learning is the best of all wealth.  It is easy to carry.  Thieves cannot steal it, & tyrants cannot seize it; neither fire nor water can destroy it.  And far from decreasing, it increases by giving.”  The Naladiyar

Locations, Sponsors, G-Force Coordinators, Founders & Champions of GO Centers and potential GO Centers on the South Plains of Texas in the following counties (listed by North to South & West to East geographical orientation):

Bailey, Lamb, Hale, Floyd, Motley, Cottle

Cochran, Hockley, Lubbock, Crosby, Dickens, King

Yoakum, Terry, Lynn, Garza, Kent

Gaines, Dawson, Borden


Refer businesses, faith- & community-based organizations, agencies, associations & service clubs (wherever you work, worship, volunteer, learn, play or thrive) to – so that they may be invited to join our GO Center family.  Together we can thrive, learn & prosper.

GO Centers in Texas: key findings

Evaluating a College Information and Awareness Campaign

The Texas GO Center Project

Summary of Methodology and Key Findings

Jesse Cunha  Department of Economics  Stanford University 579 Serra Mall  Stanford, CA 94107

Darwin Miller  Department of Economics  Stanford University 579 Serra Mall  Stanford, CA 94107

1. Introduction  In this short brief, we describe in turn our evaluation of GO Centers, the methodology used, a summary of our findings, and a discussion of policy implications.  GO Centers are a novel program whose aim is to increase demand for higher education among high school students by 1) providing information concerning the college going process, and 2) by changing students’ fundamental beliefs about the appropriateness and benefits of college.  The program is targeted at those students who are academically prepared, yet choose not to continue their schooling.  Specifically, the program engages the efforts of current college students, college-bound high school peers, members of the community, and a committed faculty member to provide information on college choice, the application process, financial aid, and SAT taking to current high school students.  Extensive marketing materials are used and emphasis is placed on convincing students of the value of a college education and that attending is the right decision to make.

In 2003, the state of Texas started 38 GO Centers in low-performing high schools and has subsequently expanded coverage to include two-thirds of the state’s high school students by 2007.  We link data on the location and expansion of GO Centers over time to a database that follows the universe of Texas high school seniors into Texas colleges, and employ a differences-in-differences estimator (a description of which is provided in Section 2 below) to determine the program impact on college application, acceptance, enrollment, and persistence rates.

We find convincing evidence that GO Centers have had a positive impact on all of the college-going outcomes of study.  However, and not surprisingly, this impact is concentrated mainly amongst the Hispanic and low-income students targeted by the program.  There is also evidence that the program impacts are larger for students exposed to GO Centers for more than one year.  These results, with percentage effects, are summarized in Section 3 below.

Our analysis suggests an important role for GO Centers in high schools; however, we do not yet have the data that will allow us to state conclusively why the positive results occurred.  We are currently conducting a survey of all Texas high schools that will enable us to shed more light on the mechanisms through which GO Centers work.  We conclude this brief in Section 4 with a discussion of future work and policy implications.

2. Brief Description of Methodology  The goal of our study is to determine the independent influence that GO Centers have had on college application, acceptance, enrollment, and persistence rates in Texas. In order to determine this independent influence, we must account for the reality that there are many factors other than GO Centers that affect college going behavior – and we do not want to wrongly attribute their influence when estimating the effect of GO Centers.  Our approach addresses this problem in two ways.  First, we look at changes in college-going behavior over time in GO Center schools, rather than simply looking at rates post-implementation.  Schools adopting GO Centers had very different characteristics and levels of college going activity pre-implementation, so the effect of GO Centers must be determined by how much these outcomes of interest have changed due to implementation.  The difference in outcomes from before and after the center was put in place lets us isolate the effect of factors that changed over that time period – one of which is GO Centers – independent of the effect of pre-existing differences between schools that did not change over the time period in question.

However, a simple before-after difference does not control for the fact that other factors influencing college-going behavior may have changed at the same time that GO Centers were implemented.  For example, it might be that schools that adopted GO Centers also hired more guidance counselors in the same year.  In this case, a simple difference in college-going rates would attribute an observed increase in enrollment to GO Centers, while it might have really been the new counselors that deserved the credit.   To overcome this potential bias, we look to see if changes in college-going behavior over time at GO Center schools are different than changes in similar schools that did not have GO Centers.  This technique – comparing schools that received the program to a similar schools that did not – is called “matching” and helps to overcome the fact that we do not know the counterfactual of what the changes in college applications, acceptances, and enrollment would have been at a GO Center school, had the center not been there.

Integral to this matching technique, therefore, is choosing the appropriate school to “match” with a GO Center school.  The ideal comparison school has one key attribute – that the changes in college-going behavior over the GO Center implementation period are similar to what would have happened at the similar GO Center School, had it not had a center that was working to change applications and enrollment.  Using individual-level information from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) in conjunction with school-level data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), we perform a statistical analysis to find these matched control schools that have similar pre-program trends in college attendance rates, college application rates, academic course-taking, TAKS Exit Exam scores, racial mix, pupil-teacher ratios, drop out rates, and school funding.  Using this methodology, the average difference between outcomes of interest at GO Center schools and their matched comparison schools is our estimate of the effect of the program.

3. Summary of Key Findings  Overall, we find convincing evidence that first group of 40 GO Centers implemented in the 2003-04 school year had a large and statistically significant impact on college application, acceptance, enrollment, and persistence rates. Not surprisingly, the impact was concentrated among the low-income and Hispanic students who were both targeted by the program and were most likely to be on the “margin” of attending college. However, we still find small, positive benefits for other students as well. Encouragingly, the program impact is larger for students who had access to GO Centers starting in their Junior year. Specific results are summarized below, and we conclude with a discussion in Section 4.

3.1 Application Rates
GO Centers increased application rates to Texas colleges by 21.9 percentage points overall. This translates into a 68% increase over the previous year when 32% of high school seniors applied to college. Disaggregating, we find a larger impact amongst the low-income and Hispanic students most heavily targeted by the program, with increases in application rates of 28.9 and 30.8 percentage points respectively.

GO Centers had a stronger affect when students were exposed to the program for longer than one year. For students who were Juniors during the first year of the program, college application rates increased by 33.0 percentage points overall.

As we do not have application data for 2-year schools in Texas, these results likely understate the positive impact of GO Centers on interest in higher education.

3.2 Acceptance Rates Most of the students affected by GO Centers applied to lower-tiered 4-year colleges which have nearly open-admission policies. Therefore, the program impact on acceptance rates essentially mirrors that on application rates.

3.3 Enrollment Rates GO Centers’ effect on enrollment rates mirror the trends in application and acceptance rates, but with smaller effect sizes. When averaging across all students, there is only slight evidence that GO Centers increased college enrollment rates (both 2- and 4-year schools), with an average increase of 4.6 percentage points. The statistical margin of error around this estimate is fairly large, and it is only marginally distinguishable from a 0 percent increase using conventional statistical methods. However, when looking at specific sub-groups of students, there is a statistically significant and meaningful impact on enrollment rates, with increases of 9.0 and 9.2 percentage points amongst Hispanics and low-income students, respectively.

The impact of GO Centers on college enrollment was also larger for students exposed to the program for two years. Amongst students exposed to the program during their junior year of high school, college enrollment rates increased by 18.5 percentage points overall, and by 23.2 and 17.6 percentage points among Hispanic and low-income students, respectively.

3.4 College Persistence Rates GO Centers increased one-year college persistence rates, but only for students who were exposed to the program for two years [3] Students who were exposed to a GO Center as a junior in high school were 10.0 percentage points more likely to persist for at least one year in college, relative to matched comparison schools. This effect increases to 12.6 percentage points among Hispanics, and we do not find a statistically significant impact of GO Centers on one-year college persistence rates among low-income students.

4. Discussion  These results provide strong evidence that the GO Center program, as implemented, is an effective way to increase college application, acceptance, enrollment, and persistence rates – particularly among the traditionally underserved students that were targeted by the program. However, the statistical analysis we have preformed thus far does not answer the question of why GO Centers have succeeded as well as they have. For example, is it “peer-to-peer” persuasion or easy access to information that is most responsible for GO Center success? We are currently administering a statewide survey of Texas high schools to collect detailed information on Go Center activity in individual high schools. Armed with this new information, we will be able to shed more light on the mechanisms through which GO Centers work, and inform policy for the future.

Furthermore, GO Centers are still a relatively new program and, as such, we do not know the program’s impact upon long term outcomes such as college completion rates, employment, and wages – arguably the outcomes we are ultimately most interested in. As the first cohorts of students exposed to GO Centers progress through college and into the labor market, we plan to study these outcomes, using Texas Workforce Commission data, which is housed at the THECB.

At this time, our recommendation for whether or not GO Centers should be continued and expanded is a qualified “yes.” Our analysis shows that the program, on average, and in the manner it was implemented in the 2003-04 school year, works. However, much work still needs to be done, and many questions remain unanswered. Are GO Centers the most cost effective way to increase higher education in Texas? Which aspects of the program should be emphasized? Which are unnecessary? Are GO Centers appropriate for all types of schools, or just the ones targeted in the first year of implementation? While the answers to these questions can be speculated on using heuristics, we need to collect the data that will allow for more detailed statistical analysis and provide answers to these questions that are free of bias.

This short document summarizes our research to date. An academic paper is forthcoming which will address many aspects of the evaluation not covered here, including a more detailed description of the GO Center program, its initial implementation, a technical derivation of our estimation technique, robustness checks on our statistical results, and a detailed policy discussion.  

Unless noted otherwise, all point estimates are statistically significant at the .05 level.  The data is not yet available to observe college persistence rates over one year.

Leverage your outreach or recruiting outcomes through win-win collaborative partnerships with GO Centers

GO Centers! — local centers of energy & effort that focus on creating a school-wide, college-going culture & promoting college awareness in the surrounding community.

Traditional GO Centers are in educational settings (such as early childhood/ pre-kindergarten through university/ graduate/ professional-school levels).

 Satellite GO Centers are in non-educational settings (such as public libraries, workforce centers, businesses, community- & faith-based sites; as well as clinics & sporting-event venues).


Mobile GO Centers are, as the name indicates, mobile units outfitted with computers, printers, and internet connectivity. They will travel to a variety of nontraditional settings (i.e., festivals, sporting events, supermarket or mall parking lots, and schools that do not have GO Centers).


The South Plains of Texas boast 411 GO Centers (beginning with 15 in high schools since 2003 – thanks to South Plains Tech Prep at South Plains College; 3 in Lubbock Boys & Girls Clubs since June 2008 – thanks to the Lubbock Area United Way)..  …


Curious about how to start your own GO Center? …  How high school & Collegiate G-Force peer facilitators can leverage your outreach or recruiting outcomes?  How your win-win collaborative partnerships with GO Centers can help you achieve your goals?  Please ask or 806-742-1480, x. 258.  



Education – GO Get It! 

GO Centers can help fulfill legislative mandates

Discover how GO Centers can help your school fulfill legislative mandates.

www.THECB.State.TX.US (& key “GO Center” into Search engine at top right of page): [1] Ideal Go Center Model and [2] page one (of 10) with links to GO Center-related articles.  Create a College-Going Culture & Ignite College Success among first-generation families & students peer-facilitated GO Centers/friendly college-going sites in schools & community-based organizations with secondary students as well-prepared peer-to-peer G-Force Leaders’/Members college/university/technical school students as Collegiate G-Force Leaders/Members to collaborate with GO Centers at secondary, primary & pre-school levels in coordination with Volunteers In Service To America, AmeriCorps Members, Work-Study students & collaborative partners.

Higher Education Legislation Fact Sheet

HB 2237 (80th Legislature)

  • Establishes the High School Completion and Success Initiative (initiative) in order to improve secondary school instruction in Texas.
  • Provides support to schools and districts in implementing curriculum and instruction improvements that align with state standards and expectations for post-secondary success.
  • Includes technical assistance to assist schools and school districts in the implementation of successful secondary education programs that maximize the impact of all available funds, including high school allotment funds.
  • Establishes the High School Completion and Success Initiative Board to develop and manage the implementation of a strategic plan that coordinates public and private high school improvement initiatives. The bill establishes a number of pilot programs intended to aid in reducing the state’s high school dropout rate.

HB 3826 (80th Legislature)

  • Requires the recommended high school program for admissions to any general admissions academic institution, including those with open enrollment policies.
  • Amends automatic admission requirements under various sections of the Education Code.
  • Clarifies the eligibility of students for automatic admission.
  • Create a uniform admissions code for all institutions of higher education.
  • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has adopted emergency rules to permit general academic institutions to continue admitting students who would not qualify for admissions under the new requirement until August 31, 2009.

SB 282 (80th Legislature)

  • Requires school districts to notify parents, whose children are in high school, about the availability of programs under which a student may earn college credit.
  • Information to include advanced placement programs, dual credit programs, joint high school and college credit programs, and international baccalaureate programs.
  • Authorizes a school district to provide the required notification on the district’s Internet website.


HB 1 (79th Legislature)

Provides $275 per high school student to districts to prepare students to go on to higher education. Section 39.114 High School Allotment states that school districts and campuses must use funds under 42.2516 (b) (3) to:

  • Implement college readiness programs to prepare underachieving students for college
  • Implement programs that encourage students toward advanced academic opportunities, such as dual credit and AP
  • Implement programs that give students opportunities to take academically rigorous course work, including four years of math and science
  • Implement programs that align the curricula for grades 6 through 12 with postsecondary curriculum
  • Implement other high school completion and success initiatives in grades 6 through 12 as approved by the commissioner

SB 1528 (79th Legislature), formerly HB 1403 (77th Legislature)

  • Establishes criteria by which individuals not yet American citizens can be classified as a Texas resident for Tuition Purposes.
  • Continues the eligibility of undocumented students to qualify as residents if they have lived in Texas for the 36 months prior to high school graduation or the receipt of the GED.
  • Expands this option for establishing residency to other students, too (not just international students).
  • A student born and raised in Texas whose parents move out of state while he/she was in high school will not lose his/her claim to residency if the student remains in Texas for the required 36 months and graduates or acquires the GED.
  • Removes the requirement of having lived with a parent or guardian while attending high school, and the requirement of having taken no hours prior to fall 2001.

HB 400 (77th Legislature)

  • Requires certain school districts to develop partnerships with nearby colleges and universities for the purposes of increasing the number of graduating seniors who enroll in higher education.
  • Provisions of this bill apply to school districts that, for any two consecutive years during the preceding five years, have been among the lowest 10 percent of high schools in this state in the percentage of students graduating from the high school and enrolling for the following academic year in an institution of higher education (Texas Education Code 29.904).

SB 158 (77th Legislature)

Requires schools and open-enrollment charter schools to provide counseling regarding:

  • the importance of higher education
  • The advantages of completing the Recommended or DAP graduation plan
  • Financial aid eligibility
  • Instruction on how to apply for federal financial aid
  • Acquiring access to the center for financial aid information
  • The automatic admission of students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class
  • Conditions for receiving a Texas Grant.

HB 713 (76th Legislature)

Creates the Toward Excellence, Access, and Success (TEXAS), and the Teach for Texas Grant which are: Intended to streamline and simplify the award process and to focus grant money directly toward those Texas students attending or planning to attend the state’s institutions of higher education that show the greatest amount of financial need.

  • Requires school districts and institutions of higher education, as well as counselors and experts in the field of financial aid, to cooperate in the compilation, publication, and distribution of relevant information
  • Provides for the creation of a center and an advisory committee to assist in the coordination of the programs

For more detailed information on legislative bills, visit www.House.State.TX.US

Resources for GO Centers: Checklists, training kit & how-to guide for college  College for Texans Training Toolkit Download (PDF)(PPT) The College for Texans “GO kit”/train-the-trainer Toolkit can be used by anyone to help families and students learn how to prepare for and pay for college. It includes six English and Spanish modules with age-appropriate presentations and activities for families and students from Pre-Kindergarten through college. Users may print out portions of the kit as needed

Texas GEAR UP/STAR State Project, & Kristen.Reynolds@TEA.State.TX.US or 512-936-6060.  Multimedia toolkits on a wide array of college access & readiness topics for distribution to every middle school & high school in the state.  In English & in Spanish.  This vast library of videos & print materials has been updated & cataloged to stream or download individual videos or print pieces—as well as entire toolkits—free of charge. Just click on Build Your Own Toolkit and select the exact resources you want to use.  Many of the videos have accompanying discussion guides ideal for presentations to students & parents. New materials are added as they are developed.  Download the accompanying one-pager that details BYOT topics & availability:  10+ hours of video; 50+ titles; 150+ supporting materials; more opportunities to create a college-going culture.  Topics include:  academic, career exploration, college readiness, educational challenges, financial aid, first generation, GEAR UP programs, mentoring, parent involvement & teaching strategies.

Resources to counsel families on preparing financially for college:  www.FSA4Counselors.Ed.Gov/NT4CM  Submit questions at or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Students and parents may e-mail StudentAid@Ed.Gov or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

1-888-311-8881 & &  Money for college!  Toll-free financial-aid call center (en Espanol & in English; Monday-Thursday:  7a-6:50p; Friday, 7a-4:50p).  Source of no-charge, proven-effective, college-friendly resources & collaborative, outreach strategies for GO Center Sponsors, G-Force Teams, first-generation college students & families, businesses, faith- & community-based organizations, schools, higher education institutions & all. Order student-, family-, classroom- & organization-friendly posters, postcards, bookmarks, comic books & other engaging items (in Spanish & in English) at no charge:  Attractive postcards with compelling “the more you learn, the more you earn“ education & potential income data & attention-getting poster with the more you learn, the more you earn data: & select “Request Materials” from the right-hand box.  Be sure to thoroughly check out resources within “Awareness & Financial Aid” & “Financial Literacy …” sections.  Also,  For Tips about College Visits & more.  Weekly e-updates to help prepare for college & beyond:  for youth & for families.  Interactive financial literacy tools:  dangers of spending on credit & paying minimum payments; credit reports, credit scores, credit-card repayment table, loan-repayment chart & more.  Also, resources to prepare families financially for college:  www.FSA4Counselors.Ed.Gov/NT4CM  Counselors may submit questions at or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Students and parents may e-mail StudentAid@Ed.Gov or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).  Educational benefits may be available for veterans or the dependents of veterans under the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008. Under this act, many post-9/11 veterans and service members will be eligible for a new comprehensive education benefits package that includes full tuition and fees, a monthly housing stipend, and a stipend for books and supplies: www.GIBill.VA.Gov and www.StudentAid.Ed.Gov; also www.College.Gov  College:  why, what & how?  4 steps to 

Money!  Texas AgriLIFE EXTENSION of The Texas A&M System, Joan Chandler (  Your money (managing money in tough times, saving & investing, fraud, bankruptcy) & your business (ca$hing in on business opportunities, starting a business in Texas; wi$e up & more) with links to & for money skills needed for life (middle school & older); Kindergarten through 12th grade, youth adults:  ages 15-21 & adults:  financial literacy with free, engaging, fun, innovative, interactive financial curricula at & with teachers’ guides, worksheets, teaching tips, classroom activities, assessments & more; www.MyMoney.Gov & Passport to fiscal & & &  [District 1 = 22 counties in Amarillo-area; District 2: = 20 counties in Lubbock area; District 3 = 24 counties in Vernon area]. Also, Nancy Granovsky ( & Dr. Joyce Cavanagh ( or 979-845-1869 & 979-845-3859.

Reality Check, www.CDR.State.TX.US/RealityCheck &  Texas Tech University Office of Community Engagement &  45-minute simulation for fifth-graders & older to experience living on the monthly salary of a high school drop out or of a professional – deeply connecting the positive correlation between school success & life/career success.  Great opportunity to meaningfully engage local business owners – to sell the products & services that the students are required to purchase with their pre-determined, education-dependent salary. & Info@Jump$ or 888-45-EDUCATE  Financial smarts for students.  Curriculum to enrich K-12 financial management skills.  2010 “12 Principle Calendars” connecting everyday ideas that get students’ financial lives off to a playful & successful start.  Clearinghouse of no- & low-cost personal finance materials for educational use (e.g., http://www.FDIC.Gov/MoneySmart to give youth ages 12 to 20 the knowledge & confidence for responsible financial management; eight instructor-led modules with computer-based scenario that allows students to complete exercises based on each module; to use in required course, supplement in economics, social studies, math or business courses; optional material for visiting/guest teachers; after-school elective, school group or club project or as a youth-serving workshop). provides an experiential e-simulation – to practice how to manage a monthly salary, thus e-learning how to survive & even thrive financially in real life. 

College Forward!  Find out how to start, grow & maximize a high-performance non-profit organization that effectively prepares low -incomefirst generation college students & families for academic, financial, social, community-service & lifetime successes (at no cost to students & @$1,300/student organizational cost).  Discover how outreach may be leveraged & maximized through savvy partnerships, training & retention of direct-service AmeriCorps & capacity-building Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) members (www.AmeriCorps.Gov).  Visit for Everything You Ever Wanted to Know — but were afraid to ask — about class-by-class requirements (spelled out for high school graduation) & college success (steps, tips & how-tos).  Invite College Forward’s 100-student summer bus tour to your college or university.  For information, please check out or  Mobile GO Center Champion Fred Markham, Texas Pioneer Foundation 512-396-2164.  Additional, youth-friendly organizations from Leroy.Nellis@Co.Travis.TX.US: (provides mentors, coaches, reading specialists & more); www.SeedlingFoundation.Net (mentors for children with an incarcerated parent); (mentors & other services); (services to high-risk students including after-school programs.)  One-year exemption from college tuition & fees for high school graduates who qualify (TX resident, graduate of TX public high school; a dependent child whose parents received financial assistance through Texas Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for at last 6 mos. of the year of the child’s high school graduation; is younger than 22 yr. of age on enrollment date; enrolls as an undergraduate at a public college/university & starts using the award within 24 months of graduation from high school – & not later than the second anniversary of date of graduation; enrolls in classes for which the college/university receives tax support).

Get your own copy/ies of beautiful, family-friendly learning & literacy resources for families & toddlers from or www.NIFL.Gov or 1-800-228-8813 or EdPubs@INet.ED.Gov (your child @birth from bornlearning; A Child Becomes a Reader:  proven ideas from research for parents, birth through preschoolShining Stars 1-3:  Toddlers/PreSchool/Kindergarteners Get Ready to Read:  how parents can help their toddlers/preschool/kindergarteners get ready to read; Big Dreams:  a family book about reading for preschool through grade three – from The National Institute for Literacy).  

Jumpstart Lubbock, &  Engaging college students/Corps/Collegiate G-Force in one-to-one relationships with youngest children to building school success (literacy, social & emotional readiness & love of learning); family involvement (strong relationships, ongoing & consistent communication, learning activities for the home to reinforce learning during Jumpstart sessions); future teachers (creating generations of college students excited about early childhood education); Teacher Fellowship supports college graduates teaching in low-income education centers for two years.  Eight-month, twice-weekly model includes one-to-one reading (children choose books to read with their college/Corps member), circle time (large-group with college/Corps members leading children in literacy, language & social interaction); choice time (children choose where to play — with guidance from college/Corps members).

KTXT-TV Public Television  Click on PBS Kids, PBS Parents, or PBS Teachersfree Pre-Kindergarten through 12th-grade resources to support learning at home & at school.  Click on Ready to Learn, Reading Rainbows, Young Writers & Illustrators Contest, GED Connection series or Parenting Counts.  Education support programs for Texas Tech faculty & staff, the community & schools across the South Plains — to assist parents, caregivers & teachers of young children.  Reading is important & learning should be especially fun

WorkForce Solutions South Plains, & 806-765-5038.  Age-appropriate  GO Centers engaging various ages for school, college, career & life success:  [1] Planting the seed early (from Pre-Kindergarten/Early Childhood)  for school success & college – (a) assists eligible families (working or going to school) with child care in 15 counties — through agreements with 165 child-development/early learning/pre-school providers (including 21 Texas Rising Star sites:  designated child-development/early learning/pre-school providers that voluntarily provide staff-development training services & thus receive higher reimbursement rates); (b) provides no-charge, quarterly training for 165 providers’ staff (about infants through schoolagers; related to early learning, literacy or school readiness) & twice-a-month evening training; & provides art & education-enrichment Resource Room with curriculum boxes, die cuts, lamination, butcher paper & teacher resources – available for check-out by registered providers: & &; [2] Youth-focused outreach & education/college resources (for ages 10-14 yrs.):; employer-funded job-placement & mentoring services for eligible high school students:  [3]  adult/family-focused enrichment through nine South Plains-area Career Centers; and [4] a variety of support for GO Centers:  [a] donation of four free computers for South Plains-area non-profit organizations that establish a GO Center (;  [b]  loan of computers for working GO Center exhibits at conferences, conventions, in-service trainings and workshops; [c] abundance of canvas bags & WorkForce mementos as thank-you items for GO Center Sponsors.  Easy-to-locate resources for providers & consumers — to locate other agencies & professionals serving individuals with disabilities & the elderly.  Web site includes information about state & local agencies, non-profits, education service centers, local independent school districts, doctors, therapists & other professionals, who create & maintain their own profiles (similar to the Wikipedia Web site):  search by keyword (e.g., behavioral supports); resource/service type; zip code (including distance from a given zip code); county & city.

South Plains Tech Prep:  South Plains’ GO Centers’ Founder (in 2003) & six-year oversight leader of excellence with high-performance team; enduring GO Center Champion:  Jill Berset ( & 806-716-4710.  GO Center Professional Consultant Sarah Allen ( and Julie Laughlin (; also:  Giving high school students a head start to life/academic/career success through [a] high-demand, technical degrees through hands-on, contextual/relevant teaching (simultaneously avoiding boredom/drop outs due to lack of career/life plan; cost savings for taxpayers, students & parents through free Tech Prep/dual credit: toward high school diploma & college credit); demonstrating tangible relevance of education for first-generation families that see their child’s technical certificate including hours of college credit – along with high-demand technical-career salaries that can help the family far more than the salary of a high school drop out; & [b] starting college with a career/professional purpose (thus, avoiding repeating/dropping courses & being undecided/less motivated about their purpose, career, life).  Tech Prep focuses on connecting the academic/middle 50 percent of students with their future careers through businesses & industry-certified/approved career-technology classes.  Systematically making school relevant by connecting academic success with career/life success.  Tech Prep outcomes include students’ higher academic/test scores, lower drop-out rate, more students completing college preparatory plans, higher graduation rates, free college credit in technical programs & more enrolling in two & four-year college/university degree plans; partnerships with 54 high schools & 253 career-technology teachers; 85 departments from SPC, TTU, TTUHSC, WBU & LCU; 350 businesses.  Annual professional-development cluster meetings for high school career-technology teachers across 11 career topics;  college readiness/vertical alignment of career-technology course through regular gatherings of college instructors & their high school counterparts; counselor workshops, school & home visits; industry-focused programs for/with business leaders.  Providing downloadable career-related posters & links to dynamic publications such as the 116-page Pathways to Success magazine (filled with live links to Web sites of interest):  Offering maximum-leverage events for businesses, industries & associations to invest in their prosperous future through annual Career/College-Awareness Expo – where businesses may strategically engage with their future workforce/customers (i.e., through interactive exhibits & hands-on demonstrations:  showcasing existing/emerging careers to 3,000+ high school students; showing/telling students about the career pathways, providing salary information & educational requirements needed from future employees).  Donating $20+K in-kind services:  consultancy services; GO Center banners, posters, training handbooks, GO Kit CDs (also available at; Public Service Announcements & video materials, Cool Jobs & Reel Life DVDs, 50 boxes (50/box) 116-pages Pathways to Success magazine for high school students; 10 boxes (125/box) two-pocket folders with high school/college check list & timelines, three When I Go To College PreK CDs & plastic tubs with college-friendly resources;  good will & connections with long-time GO Center Sponsors, how-to instructions for a work GO Center exhibit at Career/College Expo & continuing consultancy services & complimentary presentations/trainings about GO Centers, G-Force Teams, donation & loan of Reality Check simulations (www.CDR.State.TX.US/RealityCheck &, lamination of hundreds of GO Center & The More You Learn, the More You Earn posters; PodCasting library with technical assistance:  SAllen@SouthPlainsCollege,edu; etc.  Based at South Plains College/Reese Technology  Help yourself to the hundreds of Web-link resources in a variety of categories:  “Animal Welfare,” “Children & Families,” “Community Resources,” “Date Sensitive,” “Education,” Empowering Others,” “Financial Abundance” (including hundreds of Web links within the entry “Obtain financial aid — money! – for college“); “GO Centers,” “Health,” “International Opportunities,” “Special Populations,” “Texas Tech & Angelo State,” “Your career & resume” & “Your speeches.”  Check out additional, no-charge, first generation-college/family-& youth-friendly resources at Mary.Mayes@THECB.State.TX.US (three-poster set of “Myths about College:”  in Spanish & in English; 9th through 12th-grade check lists for college, My 4-Plan to go to CollegeEnglish as a Second Language lesson plans that include college-success preparation & more).  GO Center & three-series Myth posters & other education/college-rich items.  Order student- & family-friendly publications & materials in bulk for your GO Center from or or 1-800-394-7084.   Invite award-winning spokesperson to inspire your audiences: Harvesting a Dream’s Arnold Hernandez: or 512-736-6729.  Give a lap-top to change the & encourage 7,000/day prospective high school drop-outs to stay in school (high school graduates are less likely to live in poverty or on public assistance & are in better health than those who don’t graduate):  Find out how he wisely & respectfully navigates his worlds of migrant farming & first-generation college success.  Provide your mailing address to to request no-charge resources such as the [a] 3-in-1 CD:  #1/Pre-Kindergarten/Early Childhood: Teacher Manual, Parent Letter, Activity Book, songs; #2/Pre-K through College GO Kit for presenters – bilingual agenda, script & take-home activities; #3/GO Centers:  Handbook with tips, 12-month calendars & G-Force strategies to adopt, adapt &/or co-brand.  [b] Cool Jobs DVD about 12 dynamic careers … narrated by young people – to help first-generation families connect doing well in school & learning beyond high school with prospering for a lifetime through joy of learning & fulfilling careers with opportunities for advancement; [c] Reel Life DVD with award-winning, poignant testimonials & creative vignettes by first-generation college students — about how they overcame barriers to finish college & achieve personal, community, career & financial goals; [d] professionally produced 10- & 30-second Public Service Announcements/DVD to post onto your Web sites, share with local electronic-media partners; air on your internal TV/cable channel/networks, at new-employee orientations, in-service trainings, professional/employee/family, faith-based or volunteer-training events; view during your trainings, speeches, presentations at conferences, conventions, seminars; [e] GO Center posters, magnets, age-appropriate printed materials; & [f] loan of Reality Check supplies that may interactively transform your audiences’ expectations into those of a college-going culture:  www.CDR.State.TX.US/RealityCheck  Proactively connect with additional, prospective collaborative partners:  TTU fraternities & sororities [1] African American (; [2] & [3]; [4] to find out about engaging student-athletes in community causes (for details about NCAA Compliance:;[5]  Turbocharging brains through math & memory system; [6]  Find your passion, finish high school:  want it (reasons to stick with school), find it (get paid to do something you love) & own it (your education is how you show the world who are).  Click daily to support causes you believe;;

GO Centers’ spirit, energy, partners & partnerships to leverage your outreach effectiveness

Leverage your Outreach Effectiveness through Abundant, Education-friendly GO Centers, attitudes, habits, people, products & systems. 

www.THECB.State.TX.US (& key “GO Center” into Search engine at top right of page):  Go Center Model

High-Altitude Attitudes
Energize your vision!  Continuously Improve on your successes & learning lessons! Adopt or adapt practical, take-home tools! Ask for & receive helpful resources! Engage all dimensions: wherever people work, worship, volunteer, learn, play or thrive! Make it easy for your audiences/collaborative partners to say “Yes” to your calls to action!  Have fun!

Helpful Habits
1,  Celebrate!  your own successes and engagement strategies

2.  Select! resources that resonate with you or that align with your goals: take what you like, leave the rest

3.  Engage! with folks, below:  invite them to present, train, exhibit, consult, assess, research or collaborate with you; ask them to connect you with their most effective counterparts in your geographical area

4.  Adopt!  adapt, brand or co-brand products with your logo, Web site, call to action and contact information

5.  Leverage! the power of your systems via people, products and existing systems of college-readiness resources

6.  Share!  your resources with for, e-list updates and an ever-improving version of Your Buffet

7.  Be grateful! for your resilience despite ever-changing leadership, priorities or funding availability

Helpful People, Products & Systems

  • People 2003 “Father” of Texas’ GO Centers, provided leadership, team-building & college-readiness training; got recruited to initiate Go Centers/Go Center-like strategy in other GO Centers’ collaborative successes in San Antonio via AmeriCorps*VISTA Leaders & Members (www.NationalService.Gov/for_organizationshow/index.asp), Communities In Schools (, College for ALL Texans Foundation (,, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (www.CNS.Gov/about/programs/seniorcorps_rsvp.asp).  2003 “Mother” of 15 of Texas’ first GO Centers; when GO Center revenue evaporated, she found funding to continue to support GO Centers through her Tech Prep budget GOo Center-like non-profit organization in Austin, Texas; mobilizing VISTA & AmeriCorps Leaders/Members + work-study students to ensure first-generation students’ college-going>  Ask her to connect you with her trusted, respected Cooperative Extension partners throughout the US.

JThompso@CNS.Gov  Ask Jerry Thompson to connect you with his counterpart in your state; inquire about his/his collaborative partners’ creative strategies to engage/leverage low- or no-cost Volunteers in Service to America/domestic Peace Corps providing sustainable/indirect services; or direct-service/tutors/mentors AmeriCorps Members or Leaders; &/or how to leverage federal work-study dollars for your outreach.    16+ social/restorative-justice projects that meaningfully engage first-generation students/families in the resolution/reconciliation of their communities’ real life challenges.

  • Products

Training & Dynamic, ransformational leadership team-building & college-readiness information & experiential training to energize G-Force/ peer facilitators; adult GO Center sponsors; to write strategic plan for GO Center, its case-management approach, outreach to its feeder schools, meaningful engagement of current/prospective collaborative partners (granting/funding businesses, organizations, foundations; P-16/P-20 Council, local education partnerships – to ensure long-term successes) 

Training content

Juanita’s Diary a semi-autobiographical screen play about a migrant-farming family whose daughter was the first to graduate from college (with age-appropriate conversation modulesDVD of the performance): or 806-742-1998, x. 463 or

Harvesting a Dream video-contest winner/mass-media spokesperson:  Arnold Hernandez: or 512-736-6729.  Find out how he wisely & respectfully navigates his worlds of migrant farming & first-generation college success.

Reality Check 45-minute simulation for eighth-graders & older to experience living on the monthly salary of a high school drop out or of a professional – deeply connecting the relationship between school success & life/career success.  Great opportunity to meaningfully engage local business owners – to sell the products & services that the students are required to purchase with their pre-determined, education-dependent salary.  To borrow or find out how to purchase your own store fronts (to brand with your logo, Web site, call to action & contact information):   View a Web site version at

Community-friendly Web sites (select “Financial Abundance” & scroll to Financial Aid for College) & 

Effective organization                  


  • Systems

Web sites & blogs:

Work toward freedom for the wrongfully convicted & participate in restorative justice & 617-373-7609 for information about social/restorative-justice projects & healing circles: [1] Identify funding sources for transitional housing & services to serve formerly incarcerated who face difficulties obtaining public housing due to their Criminal Offender Record Information reports); [2] comparison of the increasing criminalization of homelessness & poverty in the US with policies in parts of the European Union — to identify model laws & policies to oppose criminalization measures & promote more constructive, alternative approaches); [3] development of homelessness prevention strategies for Cambridge, MA; [4] identifying legal steps in several states to protect same-sex couples & their families; [5] assisting civil rights activitists arrested or convicted of crimes during the civil-rights era to obtain pardons; [6] research & interviews with New Orleans residents to ascertain five major shortcomings of the Road Home Program & suggest innovative approaches to addressing these issues; [7] examine zoing & land-use regulation as possible means to mitigate fast-food industries’ practice of aggressive marketing near schools with particularly susceptible minority youth populations; production of a kit to be used by various communities to address their specific concerns &/or situations; [8] using NYC’s zoning resolution to protect low-income & racially diverse communities (residents & businesses) from displacement due to large-scale development projects; [9] analyzing gender discrimination statutes in MD & LA; creating a web-based resource regarding gender discrimination; [10] suggest judicial & legislative actions to facilitate greater academic success among Limited English Proficiency students in Worcester schools; [11] investigating whether criminal/background checks violate equal employment law; [12] extent to which non-English speaking parties to immigration court proceedings have a right to be provided with translations of relevant documents & exploration of feasible models for such translation services; [13] state-based legal strategies & theories to help the un- & underinsured avoid exorbitant hospital debts; investigate ways to change hospital-billing practices, explore use of community benefits to alleviate overburdened patients & examine ways to improve state insurance laws in order to increase health insurance coverage; [14] implement the restorative justice/peer justice system & model it for the MA public school system; school-community, self-governance & healing — in response to growing violence & disciplinary issues within public schools throughout the nation — complying with all state & federal special education & English-language-learners’ laws; data collection system to monitor the success of the restorative justice peer justice system; [15] creating a comprehensive, statewide training program to encourage more aggressive & skillful litigation in eyewitness-identification cases in GA — as part of the national effort to bring about eye-witness identification reform; [16] creation of a national manual to assist attorneys representing minor-aged victims of sexual assault Pre-law tool kit for school counselors at all grade levels & for pre-law students, their teachers, mentors & parents.

Recommend to juvenile offenders & others requiring community-service restitution credit that they volunteer at our dog & cat shelter near Lubbock, Texas:

Create a college-going state of mind: beginning with the youngest babies & throughout their lives User-friendly, comprehensive, encouraging!

From the National Dropout Prevention Center, the importance of mentors:  students with mentors are 75 percent less likely to drop out of school. Schools with mentoring programs report: 76 percent increase in student attendance rate; 84 percent increase in students’ passing classes; 60 percent decline in suspensions from school; 58 percent of students achieving higher grades.  Students with mentors are 46 percent less likely to start using drugs, 27 percent less likely to start using alcohol & 33 percent less likely to hit someone:  Leroy.Nellis@co.Travis.TX.US or 512-854-9066.

For a high school diploma … early — with dual credit! … or for courses not offered at your school; for courses you need due to scheduling conflicts or special circumstances (emergency, travel, health, legal, work-related or other issues); for high school or college credit by exams, academic enrichment & more: or or 806-742-7200. Get students involved in leading other students to college.  Proven results in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas & West Virginia — through partnerships with GEAR-UP & TRiO programs; iLead camps & Power of One assemblies (with young college graduate speakers ready to go anywhere in the United States to impact & motivate students School programs, retreats & summer camps for high-quality educational experiences – by combining cutting-edge curriculum & programs with an energetic staff with a passion for reaching kids to order a DVD, script & curriculum guide for Juanita’s Diary, an endearing & inspiring story about young Juanita Garcia as she follows the crops with her migrant-farming family & ends up graduating from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Juanita’s Diary curriculum guide includes community-friendly conversations, activities & TAKS-friendly lessons for ages pre-kindergarten through sophomores in college.  Observe the struggles of migrant families in the 1960s & learn about the social, economic, political & educational atmosphere of the times: or 806-742-1998, x. 463 or  China, India & other countries are major players in the global supply chain for services & manufacturing, creating an explosion of wealth in the middle classes of the world’s two biggest nations — giving them a huge new stake in the success of globalization.  With this “flattening” of the globe, US   citizens are required to run faster in order to stay in place.  The world has gotten small & fast:  human beings & their political systems must adapt. (select “Perfect Storm” from right-hand menu)  The US is in the midst of a perfectly grim storm:  disparities in reading & math skills; seismic economic changes widening wage gaps & sweeping demographic shifts:  more people with less education & lower skills.  Hope for better lives with decent jobs & livable wages is possible through raising our learning levels, increasing our reading & math skills & narrowing the existing achievement gaps.

According to Scott McLeod, these are exponential times.  Shift happens.   Sample:  China & India have more honors kids than the US has kids.  …  The US is 20th in the world in broadband Internet penetration.  … In 2002 Nintendo invested $140+M in research & development while the US government spent less than half as much on research & innovation in education.  … The amount of new technical information is doubling every two years, so about half of what students learn in their first year of a four-year technical or college degree may be outdated by their third year of study.

Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu states, “Governors review fourth grade reading scores to determine prison growth. . .  This has become an epidemic in the African-American community where 63 percent of its fourth-grade students are below grade level,” (2007).

Internet Search: “third grade reading and prison” via Google and 1,110,000 hits occur in 0.08 seconds.  The first hit succinctly states, “During a recent visit to    a maximum security prison in Virginia, where some 2,000 men are caged, I asked the warden to describe his most troublesome problem.  I expected the usual answer – shivs, drugs, rapes, cellblock violence.  Sure, he replied, all that is here.  But his major problem is illiteracy.  As many as 75 percent of the prisoners read at a third grade level.  On release, he said, they won’t be able to find even unskilled jobs.  Almost two-thirds will return to prison,         



           Youth/learning-friendly partners         

Upward Bound, Talent Search, TRiO, GEAR-UP, Tech Prep, Service-Learning & Learn-&-Serve programs, VISTA programs, LULAC, Worksource/Workforce Boards, Leadership Beaumont, AgriLIFE Extension/4-H/county fairs, United Ways, chambers of commerce, economic-development associations, public libraries/library system/library association, county judges, public health, Corporation for National & Community Service, faith-based organizations, 2-1-1, P-16/P-20 Councils, Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, community foundations, education in-service trainings …


 Mobilization of community connectors & your usual, local Superstars                                                                                                              &


Collaborating with on-going events    

Jamaicas, county fairs, neighborhood of back-to-School fiestas, athletic events, local celebrations, college-career-job expos/fairs, job-shadow day, senior-sneak day, leadership programs (e.g., Leadership Texas, Leadership Beaumont …), public health 


Speed-networking luncheons  Luncheon host/hostess at student-operated site; explicit participation/preparation instructions:  informational, promotion and one-pager into chairs, go through entire buffet line, 90-seconds/participant to share “elevator speech” of three offers and three wishes; note-taker with e-follow up.  Want to see e-examples of invitation and/or follow up with participants’ e-addresses, offers & wishes?  Let me know:



Now It is your Turn! 

Be Grateful!  Focus on and Share your Experience, Strength and Hope!


What you do when your promises can’t be fulfilled due to unforeseen circumstance or changes occur that are out of your control?  (e.g., election/selection of a new governor, commissioner, supervisor; reorganization, down-sizing, re-engineering, outsourcing …)  e-list for life; blog with resources; help however you can:  wherever your collaborative partners work, worship, volunteer, learn, play or thrive


How do you meaningfully engage business partners?  … families/parents?  Where do you apply for college-readiness grant funding?  Which local and/or chain businesses share their financial abundance with you?  What are your biggest challenges?  What are your biggest learning lessons &/or your successes?  Anyone recruiting senior citizens into college/law school?  — to diversify by age, previous work/professional/academic interests &/or ethnicity?



Ready to Practice your “Elevator Speech” of Three Offers and Three Wishes?!



Three Sample Offers


Let (806-742-1480, x. 258) help you, your colleagues, customers, consumers, advocates, family, friends, students, teachers, faculty, teammates & neighbors (wherever you/they work, worship, volunteer, learn, play or thrive) get connected with resources you/they need.  Some of the 20,000+ people on my e-lists or 35+ daily visitors to my blog may have what you need or know who has what you need.


Help yourself, adopt or adapt any/all resources from my user-friendly blog in furtherance of your mission: (& select categories from the right-hand menu that might be most helpful to you:  “Animal Welfare,” “Children & Families,” “Community Resources,” “Date Sensitive,” “Education,” “Empowering Others,” “Financial Abundance,” “Health,” “International Opportunities,” “Jobs & Internships,” “Special Populations” & Texas Tech & Angelo State” & “Your career & resume”).


Be my luncheon guest [on Tuesdays at Lubbock Lions Club ( &/or on Wednesdays at Lubbock Rotary Club ( &/or Saturdays at The Lubbock Club] if you want to meet, greet, network with and call into action highly accomplished, service-minded leaders.  I would be honored to sponsor your membership application into Lions &/or Rotary.  I would be glad to add your e-address to the e-invitation spreadsheet for Saturday luncheons.



Three Sample Wishes


You!  and hundreds of your P-20 friends sending at least three items & getting connected with folks whenever I “bcc” e-ask you & your colleagues, friends, family, neighbors & collaborative partners to share your age-appropriate college-readiness items with eager students, classes, teachers, counselors, principals & parents around the state.


You!  and your collaborative, community partners branding (with your logo, Web site & contact information) all/age-appropriate modules of the downloadable Go kit for your college readiness outreach; engaging 50+ area GO Trainers in your outreach to first-generation families and/or youth (pre-kindergarten through college/university) via school, after-school, back-to-school, stay-in-school, faith-based, mentoring, tutoring, academic enrichment & community events … in Spanish &/or in English.


You!  and your friends, family, neighbors – wherever folks work, worship, volunteer, learn, play or thrive – offering ideas, resources and volunteer hours supporting area Go Centers; collaborating with high school & collegiate G-Force Members/Leaders; and growing GO Centers in your near-by schools, community-based organizations or businesses’ employee break/training rooms.  Connect with veteran, Go Center champions: and or   



Three More Sample Wishes


You!  and thousands of other Texas Tech-friendly folks helping us reach our 40,000-student goal by & & & &


You!  becoming/continuing to be my colleague within the Texas Tech University System: & &


You!  and thousands of others getting/staying connected with Texas & & & &

Helpful links about GO Centers

www.THECB.State.TX.US (& key “GO Center” into Search engine at top right of page): [1] Ideal Go Center Model and [2] page one (of 10) with links to GO Center-related articles.

“Many thanks!” go to South Plains Tech Prep at South Plains College for having established the first 15 GO Centers in 2003 and for having partnered with the GO Centers for six-plus years! &

GO Center history:  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launched the College for Texans Campaign in 2001.  The slogan “Education–Go Get it!” was created to encourage more students to go to college. In order to make the slogan a reality, in 2003 the concept of the “GO Center” was born.  GO Centers are locations within a school or community- or faith-based atmosphere where students, parents & families can attain college-going information

Typically a GO Center contains one or more computers, a printer, college applications, financial aid information, and connections to on-line resources.  Staff are on site and trained in acquiring resources and the overall scope and responsibilities.  In school-based GO Centers, there are usually students (“G-Force”) who work as peer mentors to encourage fellow students to attend college.  These students are also encouraged to present prepared college-going information to all ages of younger students in their schools as well as parents, families and community members. 

Currently there are GO Centers in the 20-county region of the South Plains of Texas (Bailey, Lamb, Hale, Floyd, Motley, Cottle, Cochran, Hockley, Lubbock, Crosby, Dickens, King, Yoakum, Terry, Lynn, Garza, Kent, Gaines, Dawson & Borden):  in the school districts of Abernathy, Frenship, Hale Center, Levelland, Lorenzo, Lubbock (Monterey & Lubbock High Schools), Lubbock-Cooper, Olton, Petersburg, Plainview, Ralls, Shallowater, Slaton & Spur: thanks to South Plains Tech Prep.  There are three GO Centers in the Phea, Optimist and Wilson branches of the Lubbock Boys and Girls Clubs, thanks to the Lubbock Area United Way

GO Centers have the potential to increase the college student population over the coming years and help meet Texas’ goal of 630,000 more college students by 2015.  Students, mostly first-generation college students, need help in overcoming financial, social & personal barriers. GO Centers are proven- successful ways to overcome some of the barriers.

Texas’ GO Centers: History & Training Handbook

www.THECB.State.TX.US (& key “GO Center” into Search engine at top right of page): [1] Ideal Go Center Model and [2] page one (of 10) with links to GO Center-related articles.

Request an e-copy of your own GO Center Training Handbook:

GO Center-related history

In 2001, the 77th Legislature adopted Closing the Gaps, a proactive plan designed in part to increase Texans’ participation and success in higher education.


As a result, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launched College for Texans, a marketing and outreach initiative in 2002 with the slogan “Education. GO Get It.”  The goal of the campaign is to enroll 630,000 academically prepared students by 2015, 430,000 beyond the 200,000 expected to attend college at current rates.


Part of the campaign strategy is reaching these students by building strong partnerships in communities across Texas.


As part of this grassroots network, GO Centers are being implemented in communities across the state to help recruit students into higher education.


Initially, GO Centers are being located on high school campuses where they serve as a point of coordination between students, P-12 counselors, and institutions of higher education. At the GO Center, students will find a variety of resources to help them better prepare and plan for college.  Middle/High school and Collegiate G-Forces assist students in finding information and exploring options.


This Handbook is designed to help:


·         Learn how to establish GO Centers in the community.

·         Recruit new G-Force members.

·         Support the GO Center and G-Force network.

·         Mentor G-Force members in their efforts to assist peers in developing the elements required to successfully transition from high school graduation to post-secondary education.


*  Chapter 1  GO Center — G-Force  What’s a GO Center?  GO Center Design and Philosophy.  Starting a GO Center.  Establishment of G-Force.  GO Center Resources. 

Chapter 2  GO Center Outreach Activities Monthly Calendars of Events.  Activity Instructions.  Star-shaped Template.  Monthly Project Examples.  Outreach Strategies. 

Chapter 3  Student Resources   Factors to Consider when Choosing a College.  How to Gather Information about Colleges.  Applying to College.

Chapter 4: Forms/Reports  Evaluation Overview.  G-Force Interest Form.  G-Force Member Information Sheet.  GO Center Semi-Annual Celebration Report.  GO Center Sign-In Sheet.  Go Center Evaluation.  Parent/Guardian/Family Event Sign-In Sheet.  Student Event Sign-In Sheet.  GO Center Presentation Evaluation.  GO Center Goal Evaluation.  Go Center Poster/Agreement.  Sample GO Center Contract / Memorandum Of Understanding.

Health Careers: for You? … of Scrubs and Stethoscopes

Of Scrubs and Stethoscopes

Ever wondered what it would be like to be a surgeon, a paramedic, or a physical therapist? Maybe you’ve heard about the shortage of health care personnel in Texas and are looking ahead for career opportunities when you enter the job market. Whatever is on your mind, the important thing is to follow your heart if you have a love of the sciences and helping people. Don’t be scared off by the hard work that lies ahead because the rewards will be there for you. Often the money is very good, but the personal fulfillment of entering such professions can be even greater.

If you are like a lot of students, you may not be sure where to start researching these careers, or you may wonder if you have what it takes to make it in such exciting and demanding fields. A great place to start is by checking out an online guide called H.O.T. Jobs – A Cool Guide to Health Professions in Texas at This guide describes 75 health careers from A to Z, and includes important details such as areas of specialization, work environment, job outlook, length of training, and salary. It also lists universities and colleges in Texas and the programs they offer.

Still wondering if you have what it takes? Then make sure to visit the website above, and click on the “Colleges and Universities” button to review a quick cheat sheet titled “Is a Health Career Right for You?” It may also be helpful to talk with people who are in health careers that you are considering.  Check our for health-career choices — now & after you have graduated from college.

Once you’ve done your homework and decided that perhaps medical school is the route you want to go, you’ll be happy to learn that there are a number of people and programs that are ready to help you. One program is the Joint Admissions Medical Program, also known as JAMP. This program targets economically disadvantaged college freshmen and provides a rich college environment for students to understand the realities of attending medical school. For more information, visit

Finally, don’t forget to believe in your own potential. Find a mentor – someone to help guide you and inspire you when you hit the rough patches that may pop up. Best of luck on your quest!

Schedule a convenient time for you to visit Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, USA:

Usted Es La Estrella Que Guia A Sus Hijos

Usted Es La Estrella Que Guia A Sus Hijos
Guie a sus hijos hacia una educación universitaria o técnica. Es possible y está al alcance de todos. Ayuda económica esta disponible para todos. El exito en la universidad creará un mundo de oportunidades para sus hijos. ¡Nunca es muy temprano para empezar a planear! Aquí hay unos consejos para guiarlos hacia un futuro muy brillante:

Cree Usted en sus hijos. Dígales que son inteligentes y que pueden hacerlo. Asegurales que los van a apoyarar para que puedan lograr sus sueños.

Sea un ejemplo para sus hijos y demuestreles que Usted esta planeando para el futuro de ellos al ahorrar un poco de dinero regularmente. Hasta las monedas del bolsillo puede acumularse. Diviertasé con sus niños pequeños “dandole de comer” a su alcancia para su educación del futuro.

Ayudenlos a ser saludables. Animelos a que participen en actividades escolares y de la comunidad. Acompañenlos a la biblioteca. Dalen un lugar comodo para estudiar y ayudenlos con su tarea.

¡Partícipe en la vida de sus hijos! Visite la escuela y preguntalé a los maestros y consejeros sobre que programas están disponibles para ayudarles a prepararse para su futuro exito en la universidad. Ayudenlos a encontrar un mentor o tutor.

Visite una universidad juntos. Hable con sus hijos sobre profesiónes que les interesen. Pidelé a un amigo o familiar de confianza que se graduó de la universidad para que hablen con sus hijos sobre la importancia de la educación y la diferencia que ha hecho en su vida. Sigue Usted inspirando a sus hijos para un mejor futuro.

Prepara hoy para el futuro de sus hijos. Para mas información, llame o visite:

Texas Centro de Información para Ayuda Económica 888-311-8881 (gratis)
lunes-jueves (7 am to 7 pm) y viernes (7 am to 5 pm) (consejeros bilingües) o

How you can help get students into college

How You Can Help

Guide one child
• Read to your child – or someone else’s – at a young age
• Start a college savings account in a child’s name
• Talk to a child about the value of a college education when the child is still in elementary school
• Visit with your child’s teacher and counselor
• Volunteer at school
• Limit television viewing and video game playing
• Let a high school student know you’re there to help research colleges and fill out applications and financial aid forms, or will find someone who can
• Inspire someone to be an outstanding student www.AppleSeeds.orgStCreed.htm

Encourage many
• Forward information about potential partners or audiences in your community to
• Sponsor a special event to let youth and families that college is possible and affordable for them. Check out the dynamic, age-appropriate GO kit activities and messages at Get fun ideas for youth (pre-kindergarten through first year in college) and for their families, too.
• Talk with a high school principal about establishing a GO Center in a local high school

• Distribute or present Go kit materials:
• Recruit trainers to present workshops to parents and students
• Speak to students about your education and preparation for the workforce

Talk up how to Go Get It! [education]
• Become familiar with these statewide resources of financial aid for higher education
 Direct people to the Texas Financial Aid Information Center, 1-888-311-8881, toll free, which has representatives who speak English and Spanish
 Visit
 Visit (en Español)
 Recommend for economically disadvantaged students pursuing medical or dental education
• Share these ideas with your children, students, clients, customers, schools, parents, or community partners.