Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the launch of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's (THECB) 60x30 plan in McKinney, Texas. The 60x30 plan, which coincides with Governor Abbott's plan to elevate Texas' higher education system, aims to ensure 60 percent of Texas' 25- to 34-year-old workforce achieves a postsecondary education credential by 2030.
"The strength of Texas' economy is our workforce, and a skilled and educated workforce gives Texas a competitive advantage," Governor Abbott said in his remarks. "But for Texas to continue growing and to be a leader in the global economy, we need more students graduating with a 2- or 4-year degree. Texas will be better because of our new focus on 60x30 and our brightest years are yet to come."
The 60x30 plan, which serves as the state's long-range strategic plan for higher education, aims to accomplish four goals by the year 2030:
- 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 will have a certificate or degree.
- 550,000 students in that year will complete a certificate, associate, bachelor's, or master's from a Texas higher education institution.
- All graduates from Texas public institutions of higher education will have completed programs with identified marketable skills.
- Undergraduate student loan debt will not exceed the current rate of 60 percent of first-year wages for graduates of Texas public institutions.
Gov. Abbott's 60x30 Higher Education Remarks:
**Gov. Abbott often deviates from prepared remarks.
Thank you, Dr. Matkin, President of Collin College, Commissioner Paredes, Chairman Bobby Jenkins and Chairman Woody Hunt.
The strength of Texas’ economy is our workforce. A skilled and educated workforce gives Texas a competitive advantage.
Texas needs more skilled workers and we must help every Texan climb the ladder of success. This session, we advanced higher education by making it more affordable for more Texans. We passed laws that help more students graduate on time with less debt. We committed $450 million to elevate our university research programs by funding much needed building facilities, especially labs.
Thanks to the Closing the Gaps by 2015 strategic plan that laid the aspiration followed by the inspired work of our higher education institutions, over 2.6 million credentials have been awarded since 2000. We achieved a 60 percent six-year graduation rate from our public universities, with community college completion rates up 190 percent and certificates awarded increased by 200 percent. And Texas doubled enrollment of Hispanic and African-American students.
But for Texas to continue growing and to be a leader in the global economy, we need more students graduating with a 2- or 4-year degree.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s 60x30 Texas plan takes Texas to the next level. By 2030, we want 60% of Texans 24-34 to have a certificate or degree. Texas will be a national leader in higher education degrees. Texas will become the home for innovation and intellectual capital. This is a high expectation. People often live up to expectations whether high or low.
Collin College is setting an example of what can be done. It’s the lead institution of the National Information Security, Geospatial Technologies Consortium. Collin College focuses on emerging IT fields. It targets training and workforce development for workers changing careers.
Collin College is creating a stronger pipeline of skilled workers for employers. And it’s making a big difference in the lives of Texans. Texans like Brandon and Gena. Husband and wife, they both worked for a telecommunications company here in Texas, and they were both laid off.
Two years later, thanks to the career coaches and the cybersecurity and computer networking curriculum at Collin College, both are now employed in IT careers with real upward mobility. This is an example of what can be accomplished when colleges focus on the right outcomes.
Other Texas colleges and universities need to follow Collin College’s lead. Our goal is 60x30, but it’s about more than numbers. It’s about creating the opportunity for more Texans to graduate with a certificate or a degree, so life gets – as Brandon says – “better and better”.
Life, and Texas, will be better because of our new focus on 60x30 and our brightest years are yet to come.