TACC News

Austin, TX - The T.L.L. Temple Foundation awarded $2.2 million over five years to the Texas Success Center, a Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) division, to improve young adults’ postsecondary and employment outcomes in rural areas of East Texas. 

Through the foundation’s generous support, the Talent Strong East Texas Strategy will strengthen, scale, and expand guided pathways into a regional pipeline strategy targeting postsecondary degrees or credentials that lead to high-demand, high-wage jobs. The goal is to upskill East Texans, especially students who are Black, Latinx, or from low-income communities, by building sustainable pipelines that create a steady flow of valuably credentialed workers for thriving East Texas businesses.

“There is an urgent need to enable well-trained East Texans to enter meaningful careers with family-sustaining wages while providing an

Congratulations to Dr. Kurt Ewen, Vice Chancellor for Strategy Planning & Institutional Effectiveness and Chief of Staff at Houston Community College for winning the Carl “Cheesie” Nelson Award for 2022.  

Dr. Ewen has exemplified what it means to be a transformational leader by developing a vision for HCC’s future that follows uncharted pathways.  He has a deep understanding of organizational design, is adept at mobilizing commitment from people, and, most importantly, is able to institutionalize that commitment. With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, he is fully committed to creating large-scale change that impacts the greatest number of students.

During the awards ceremony, Dr. Cesar Maldonado, Chancellor of HCCS, said, “Dr. Ewen’s contributions to HCC have greatly impacted both the experience of our students and the Houston community. By identifying ways to

Austin, TX – The Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) announced today that the  Board has appointed Ray Martinez III as President & Chief Executive Officer. He will officially assume leadership of the association on August 22, 2022. Martinez will provide leadership to advance state policy, institutional practice, and research in support of the Texas community colleges that comprise the TACC membership. 

“The Board and I are confident Ray is the right leader for the association as he was unanimously supported by the TACC Board. I’m certain he will continue to build on the momentum the association has created leading up to the 88th legislative session with a passion for the students we serve,” said William Serrata, TACC Board Chair and President of El Paso Community College. “We are fortunate to have him.” 

"Community colleges serve as a foundation of the higher education

I recently sat down with policy leaders from across the country at a meeting hosted by Business Roundtable in Washington, D.C. As you can imagine, the economy and workforce were top of mind for all of us.

Employers statewide are having varying levels of difficulty finding skilled workers. While there’s no one tool that can alleviate this nationwide challenge, there is a toolbox.

Take the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) initiative, for example. This tool was passed by the Texas Legislature in 2021 and focuses on bringing industry and education together to launch or upgrade industry-aligned, high-demand career programs that can be completed in six months or less. Under TRUE, Texas has already directed $26 million to skills training at 46 colleges and multi-college collaboratives across the state, with $15 million more recently announced. TRUE also aligns with

Austin, TX - The Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) is under new leadership. Effective June 1, 2022, Dr. Martha Ellis will serve as the newInterim President & Chief Executive Officer for the association. Jacob Fraire, previous acting president, has accepted a new role as Director of Policy for the University of Texas at El Paso, Institute for Hispanic Student Success.

Dr. Ellis holds more than 35 years of experience in community colleges in Texas and New Mexico including two college presidencies, provost, chief information officer, undergraduate dean, and faculty member. For the past several years she has worked closely with the association as a Texas Pathways Coach and Senior Pathways Lead forwarding the mission of Texas Success Center to increase student success through Texas Pathways.

“I have deep respect for the mission of the association and the evolutionary work