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My Degree Counts
The Talent Dividend

In keeping with its mission of advancing the Houston region as one of the top ten global communities in which to live and work, the Center has convened an ambitious education initiative — the Talent Dividend, a program to increase the graduation rates at two and four-year college institutions. It is motivated by data showing that education explains most differences in metro income, economic competitiveness and prosperity, voting rates, volunteering, crime, and drug abuse.

Although Houston is the 4th largest city in the U.S., it is currently 34th in college attainment, with a 28.4% four-year college attainment rate (2010 American Community Survey), and only 6% have a two-year degree.

The goal of the Talent Dividend is to increase postsecondary degree attainment by *at least 1% to a minimum of 29.4% by 2013.  A 1% increase in post-secondary degrees translates into $4.2 billion for the Houston regional economy.

Are you someone who could benefit from starting or going back to college to finish your degree? If so, take a look at some of the resources available to you at and continue your journey to success!

*CEOs for Cities will award $1 million to the region with the greatest increase in post-secondary degrees in 2009-2010 and 2012-2013.

How Can YOU Help the Houston Region Achieve a Better Educational Outcome? Join one of our Talent Dividend Subcommittees! CLICK on the appropriate Subcommittee Logo below to see what each subcommittee is doing, and begin making a difference in our region's education:

Related Media Coverage

College Anyone? City Seeking $1 Million Prize, Houston Chronicle
CEOs for Cities Competition Begins, KUHF Business News
Measure of Degrees, The Houston Business Journal
The Chairman's Report: Elaine Barber & Sandra Wegmann, HCC TV, Show 5
Better Jobs for the Houston Region and Higher Pay for Workers, The Katy News
Leaders meet up for ‘Talent Dividend Summit’, The Memorial Examiner
Center for Houston's Future Education Initiative, The Paper Magazine

Talent Dividend Summit

The Center hosted a Talent Dividend Summit on September 22, 2011 at the University of Houston to rally community leaders around the Talent Dividend Goal of increasing degree attainment by at least 1% by 2013. More than 100 leaders in the business, education, government, and non-profit sectors attended and committed to making a substantial effort to reach our goal. At this point, strategies and plans of implementation to increase our region's graduation rates have been developed by each of the sectors/sub-committees. A workshop to track progress and success was held on February 10, 2012 as part of the Center's Symposium on Human Capital Development and Education.

Results from this coordinated effort will start to be noticed around Spring of 2012. To participate in the initiative and form part of one of these subcommittees, contact Sandra Wegmann or call her at 713-844-9324.

To see the Talent Dividend Summit's Main Presentations, click on the videos below:

For videos of the Subcommittee reports, click Reports, Part I and Reports, Part II.

Advisory Panel
Scott Hochberg, Texas House of
Representatives; Chair, Education subcommittee, House Committee on Appropriations
Douglas Foshee, El Paso Corporation, Chairman, President and CEO
Dr. Richard Carpenter, Lone Star Community College, Chancellor Barbara Paige, Houston Leadership for Tomorrow, Executive Director
Dr. Mary Spangler, Houston Community College System, Chancellor Dr. John Rudley, Texas Southern University, President
Stephen Maislin, Greater Houston Community Foundation, President and CEO Dr. Renu Khator, University of Houston, Chancellor and President
Elaine Barber, Greater Houston Partnership,
VP Public Policy
Dr. Brenda Hellyer, San Jacinto Community College, Chancellor
Kelly Frels, Bracewell & Giuliani, Senior
Partner and Center for Houston’s Future, Board Chair
Dr. Terry Grier, Houston Independent School District, Superintendent

Annual Indicator Symposium

The Center’s Report Card on Human Capital Development: Early Childhood Development, K-12 and Workforce Preparedness was released to the community at a public Community Indicators Symposium on February 10, 2012 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The event included a Talent Dividend workshop to discuss strategies and examine best practices.
Related Research
Measure of Degrees
Talent Dividend Advisory Panel Bios


The College Completion Agenda
National Coalition for College Completion
College Cost Calculator
Generation Texas Public Awareness Campaign
Spending on Education is a Business Investment
Reverse Transfer Programs Benefits All
CEO's for Cities Website
Talent Dividend Prize
College Completion Policy Database
Projections on Education and Jobs through 2018
City Vitals
TX Regional Action Plan - Post Secondary Completion
Louisville's Strategies to achieve 55,000 degrees
Economic Development Lessons from Louisville
Texas Education Index 2010
Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Success
Use of Prior Learning Assessment by Colleges
HISD/College Board College Awareness Campaign
Common College Completion Metrics
Pathways to Prosperity
Reverse Transfer Programs
LoneStar College Career Focus Magazine
Leveraging the Talent Dividend in Cities and States
Community College Drop-outs Cost Texas $74Million.
My Degree Counts Resource Page
San Jacinto College Career Focus Magazine
Center for Houston's Future
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Phone: 713.844.9303

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