College Ready Now

Individuals who do not continue education past high school are finding it increasingly difficult to succeed in an ever-changing economy. According to the 2008 Business Roundtable report "Prospering Together," 85% of all new jobs nationwide require some level of postsecondary education. In addition, 80% of the fastest-growing occupations require higher-level preparation. Local residents who have not earned a degree are discovering that it is not only harder to find jobs, but to keep them as well. A recent report from the Capital Area Council of Governments' shows that 84% of the unemployed residents in Travis County never obtained a college degree. Austin needs a strong education system to prepare today's students, the next generation of employees, for the challenges of college and future careers.

Austin companies want "college and career ready" graduates prepared to contribute immediately without costly academic remediation. Opportunity Austin 2.0 is investing in not for profits with specific performance targets for increasing graduates who are "college and career ready." In the most basic sense, students who have been adequately prepared for college level work will not need any remedial courses. According to collegeboard.com, at least 40% of students will take at least one remedial course during their college career. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you are college ready:

  • Fight Senioritis! Do not slack off during your senior year. Take challenging courses and continue to study.
  • Get help NOW. If you know you need help with coursework, get it now. The longer you wait to improve your academic skills the harder it will be to catch up in college where coursework is more complex and fast paced.
  • Push yourself. Simply graduating is not always enough to prepare you for higher education. Take any AP or honors classes you can. Also, take advantage of any free college preparation activities your school offers.

For more college prep tips, both scholastic and financial, check out our Helpful Resources page.

Austin Chamber and Austin Community College Leaders Call for 50% Student Success Rate Increase

A group of Metro Austin business leaders and Austin Community College administrators recommended that ACC increase its student success rate by 50 percent by 2020 in a joint Austin Chamber of Commerce and Austin Community College (ACC) report released Thursday.

Just 33 percent of the nearly 5,500 students who entered ACC for the first time in 2003 had transferred to a four-year institution and/or earned an associate degree or certificate within six years of entering ACC, according to the Austin Chamber's 2009 Austin Community College Progress Report.

The ACC Progress Report recommendation echoes a pledge made in April by the American Association of Community Colleges and five other national community college organizations to increase student completion rates by 50 percent over the next decade and to consider improving the United States' record on college completion a "national imperative."

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The Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Programs provides incentives for film, animation, television, video games, and post-production. Qualifying projects can receive cash grants up to 22.5% of eligible Texas expenditures.