Texas’ vast rural landscape presents a logistical challenge to delivering a consistent framework of college access and success supports to rural students and their parents.

To overcome this challenge, the Initiative will take advantage of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s unique statewide platform of place-based county agents and youth development staff. The Initiative will pair Extension’s place-based platform with two best-in-class college access/success organizations, College Forward and the National College Access Network (NCAN), to provide students, their parents and schools with information and services shown to increase college participation and success. College Forward’s student and parent support framework and data system will drive the work of the Initiative. NCAN’s expertise in professional development will support both the central office and demonstration sites.

college forward

College Forward is an Austin-based nonprofit whose intensive, culturally-appropriate mentoring programs propel students from underserved backgrounds to collegiate success and remunerative careers.

With a goal of building and sharing effective solutions, we collaborate with respected practitioners to distill ‘best practices’ into highly-efficient program models, supported by a technology platform that drives student outcomes and yields critical data for longitudinal research.

National College Access Network

The mission of the National College Access Network is to build, strengthen, and empower communities committed to college access and success so that all students, especially those underrepresented in postsecondary education, can achieve their educational dreams through a two- or four-year degree or high-quality certificate program.

Drawing on the expertise of hundreds of organizational members in almost every U.S. state, NCAN is dedicated to improving the quality and quantity of support that underrepresented students receive to apply to, enter, and succeed in postsecondary education.

When students receive specialized early awareness information, pre-college advising on admissions and financial aid, and mentoring, college entrance and completion rates rise dramatically.  Students served by NCAN members regularly outperform other low-income students in enrolling in and graduating from postsecondary education and in many cases close the graduation gap with higher-income students. NCAN  members  touch the lives of more than 2 million students and families each year and span a broad range of the education, nonprofit, government, and civic sectors.