Post2: A Few Defining Statements
We serve ALL Texas secondary students. Many postsecondary and college access organizations focus on providing services to students with particular demographic attributes. We honor their missions, and help promote their organizations to our student participants who may qualify. Our programs, however, are more broad-based and open to all.
While securing a college degree is best for many students, we also celebrate students who prefer to earn a certificate, license, or other credential. We want all students to pursue their passions, and learn how to become self-sustaining young adults.
Furthermore, we want to help remove stigmas that have developed on programs and pursuits that do not culminate in a four-year degree. Many careers require incredible skill and pay well above the starting pay of those requiring a college degree. We want students to be fully informed of those options, as well.
We believe in collaboration and partnerships. We do not want to duplicate services. We do want to fill gaps in services, as well as help connect existing service organizations to those who need them.
We believe students should start considering their postsecondary life in middle school (or earlier). Creating a life is exciting, but deliberative work. It requires knowing oneself, as well as one’s environment. That takes time.
This is not to say that students should feel locked into any one track from middle school through college graduation. We believe quite the opposite. As through life, students be free to try different paths and explore a variety of interests. It is essential, however, that the process of actively learning about career options and how they relate to one’s interests begin early.
We also believe that students should be encouraged and taught how to create one’s career. Entrepreneurship should be celebrated and encouraged as the being one of the primary methods for creatively solving society’s problems, as well as creating wealth and jobs.
We support the Texas legislature and TEA in establishing high school endorsements because they help students articulate and evaluate their interests and passions. Texas OnCourse has the best website for learning more about high school endorsements.
As we work with students across Texas, we have come to believe: (a) Programs in rural areas and small towns need to increase opportunities for students to participate in state and national competitions/activities; and (b) Programs in the urban and suburban areas need to increase opportunities for students to become more acquainted and engaged with their local community — cities/towns.
We are committed to promoting student success in the the rural areas of Texas — despite the increased costs of coordination. We invite you to read a report issued by the Greater Texas Foundation about the importance of such work.
For college-bound students, we concur with Frank Bruni: “Where you go is not who you will be.” We encourage all families of college-bound students to read Bruni’s book by the same title. As Frank Sachs said: “College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.”
We believe schools should offer a wide variety of student activities — extracurricular and co-curricular. These allow students to discover their passions and explore different fields of study. Most of these activities also offer students opportunities to directly engage with professionals and experts.
Alliance for Student Activities produced a video that best explains our commitment to student activities.
During this time of exploration and trying different activities, it is especially important to help students have a growth mindset.
We suggest students and parents join our staff in reading the work of Dr. Brené Brown. Creating one’s life is often as stressful as it is exciting. It is important to learn how to practice the wholehearted-living skills Brené Brown teaches through her work: Daring Greatly, Rising Strongly, and Braving the Wilderness.