Under ordinary circumstances, we live in a society that is constantly on the move. We stay busy attending meetings, making plans, solving problems, and hitting deadlines. The global COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the urgency and complexity of our day-to-day responsibilities in ways none of us anticipated. When life moves this quickly, finding time to slow down and reflect is a precious gift that allows us to ask whether the things that keep us busy are the things that most deserve our time and attention. By stopping to map out the road ahead, we can make sure we’re moving toward the right destination.
2019 was just such a time of reflection for Greater Texas Foundation. We reviewed our last five years of grantmaking to identify accomplishments and lessons learned, and we partnered with Education First to assess the Texas higher education landscape and develop a strategic plan to guide our work in 2020-2024. We emerged from this period of reflection with a refreshed strategy focused on four key goal areas: Student Supports; Transfer, Transition, and Advising; Rural Collaborations; and Math for Success.
In this year’s annual report, we want to share highlights from our learning with you. In the pages that follow, we will describe the impact we intend to achieve through each of our four goals. We’ll share relevant highlights from the tremendous research undertaken by Education First and others to capture the state of postsecondary education today, including data in the aggregate along withindividual voices from the field. Each section will also shine a spotlight on a current grant that aligns with the goal, because supporting student-centered solutions lies at the heart of everything we do.
The road ahead is long and difficult; expanding opportunity and improving outcomes for all students was complex work before, and it’s even more challenging given our current circumstances. Still, we’re continuing on with joy because we are confident in our destination. As always, we are grateful to travel along with you, our partners. Your ingenuity, collegiality, and deep commitment to students inspire us at every step of the way.