It’s not unusual for high school students and others to be told the road to a great career is through a four-year college or university. However, only about 25 percent of students go on to earn a four-year degree. To address this reality, there are other pathways to success that must be considered to ensure students are receiving the necessary education for success.
Texans are a diverse group, and there is more than one pathway to a successful career. That’s why the Texas Department of Agriculture has created the Parallel Pathways to Success Pilot Grant Program. The initiative is designed to fund projects in rural Texas communities that provide students the opportunity to acquire workforce training in high school and earn college credit before they graduate.
The U.S. Department of Education estimates about 80 percent of the fastest-growing job categories in the near future will require some post-secondary training, but not a bachelor’s degree. According to the Texas Comptroller’s Office, almost 44 percent of jobs paying above average income in 2007 did not require a bachelor’s degree.
This is why the Texas Department of Agriculture, through Parallel Pathways to Success, has allocated $550,000 to award grants to eligible high schools, chambers of commerce, economic development corporations and other similar organizations that provide additional pathways for rural students to enter the workforce. Award recipients include Knox City High School, Liberty County Workforce Academy, South Texas College, UT Pan American and Lampasas Early College Project.
Life is not about equal outcomes - it’s about equal opportunities. If we are to secure the competitiveness of our state and our economy, we must ensure all students have access to the necessary training to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow here in Texas.