About 70% of Texas students stay local to attend higher education, making regional connections critical to students’ postsecondary success. The foundation recognizes that statewide improvement in postsecondary success depends on progress in particular communities throughout Texas. We believe that meaningful changes in postsecondary outcomes cannot rely on a single organization. Rather, postsecondary institutions, school districts, funders, businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits must work collectively to support success for all students.
When GTF chooses to work on a region, we see our role not only as a funder, but as an on-the-ground partner in strengthening collaboration among stakeholders and promoting alignment among regional systems. We recognize this work requires patience and taking the long view, but we believe it is essential for creating sustainable positive change at the regional and ultimately statewide level.
As part of our strategy, GTF will continue to catalyze and support regional collaboration across Texas – particularly through collective impact. In identifying focal regions for our work, the foundation considers factors such as an opportunity to improve outcomes for underserved students, a strong local culture of leadership and collaboration, and a sense of urgency and passion from local and statewide stakeholders already working in the region. We also recognize that each region in Texas is unique; the foundation strives to build upon the existing assets of the regions in which we work, and works to strengthen areas needed to move the whole region forward.