P-16 is a term used to describe the continuum of educational experiences from pre-school (P) through the first years after high school, either bachelor’s degree years (through “year 16”) or starting a career.
Texas has focused on preparing students for a changing and increasingly complex future. In the Rio Grande Valley (The Valley), P-16 focuses on effectively reaching out to families to create a college-going culture. Our various initiatives work through several partnerships at the local and statewide levels. The success of our efforts is contingent upon local buy-in, support, and, ultimately, ownership.
The Regional P-16 Council, begun in 2007, promotes communication and collaboration of leaders from secondary education, higher education, workforce development, economic development, and the employer community. The P-16 Council uses collected data to understand what students are experiencing at the transition points along the P-16 continuum. It works together to remove barriers to learning and prepare students for success after high school.
By 2030, at least 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 will have a certificate or degree. [Source]
Research shows that most well-paying jobs, both those now in existence and those projected for the future, require some type of education beyond high school. Someone with a certificate or degree will earn more over a lifetime than high school dropouts or those whose education ends after high school.
Creating a high-skills, high-wage population in The Valley has economic benefits for communities and the state. RGV LEAD coordinates regional meetings on sharing college and career information, focusing on The Valley’s “emerging workforce”—students moving through the region’s public schools, working with educators to help students set and pursue college-and-career-focused goals.
RGV LEAD’s Regional P-16 Initiatives groups together four separate-but-aligned activities:
- Regional P-16 Council. The Council is a large regional collaborative that brings together secondary education, higher education, workforce development, and the employer community. The Council’s work aligns with the state’s 60X30TX plan to ensure that by 2030, at least 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 will have a certificate or degree. Two RGV LEAD executive board members (one from a school district, one from a university) chair the Council.
- Regional Counselors’ Network. The Network is a regional collaborative designed to provide a forum where counselors from public schools, colleges, and universities can discuss issues that students and families experience and develop solutions. Multiple chairs representing higher education and public schools lead the Network.
- P-16 Regional Leadership Team. This group supports regional planning for RGV LEAD’s P-16 initiatives, bringing together leaders from the P-16 Council and Counselor’s Network plus other partners from higher education institutions, the Region One Education Service Center, and workforce development boards. The team plans agendas for quarterly meetings of the P-16 Council and Counselors’ Network, participates in planning RGV LEAD’s annual regional conference and takes on special projects, such as Transition Counseling materials to support successful student transition from high school to college. RGV LEAD’s director leads this team.
- RGV LEAD Annual Conference. The conference promotes professional development for area educators and other professionals and provides an opportunity for the presentation of annual awards for excellence in teaching, counseling, administrative leadership, and employer partners
RGV LEAD’s regional P-16 initiatives provide a forum for employers, state leaders, and others to share information with a diverse group. The regional planning team provides valuable input for all activities. The leadership team takes on special projects, such as identifying a need for, and developing, Transition Counseling materials. The Annual Conference provides the opportunity to share “best practices” throughout The Valley.
RGV LEAD’s coordination of P-16 Council regional meetings focus on sharing college and career information with students moving through the public schools around the region’s “emerging workforce” to help them set and pursue college-and-career-focused goals.