January 14-15, 2019 | San Antonio, TX


The economic strength of Texas is rooted in its 28 million people and the diversity of its 12 regional economies. The state’s higher education system and their institutions serve as regional innovation and job creation hubs to provide added fuel for a growing state economy. With Texas home to more than 11 million Latinos, the future of the country’s economic health is dependent on post-secondary institutions equipping a globally-competitive workforce that will continue to drive long-term economic growth for the state and the nation. The decisions being made today by Texas leaders about how to advance policies and practices that accelerate and promote Latino degree attainment in the state will have long-lasting effects.

For the state to meet the needs of the 21st Century, it is important that Latino policymakers become familiar with innovative and successful policies at the postsecondary level that drive Latino success in education and in the labor market. This two-day convening brought together community college trustees, local workforce development board members, municipal level officials, and school board trustees from throughout Texas. The Institute was part of the NALEO Education Leadership Initiative (NELI) which aims to provide Latino public servants with the enhanced capacity and governance skills they need to become effective advocates for their students, families, and communities from birth to college completion.

The Institute’s program covered the following topics:

  • Understanding the Texas Landscape
  • Cultivating Higher Education for a Strong Texas Economy
  • Strengthening Texas’ Leadership to Increase Student Success
  • Leveraging the Transfer Process to Improve Student Success
  • On the Road to Prosperity: Academic and Postsecondary Pathways
  • Bolstering the Texas Workforce: Leading Through Regional Collaboration and Systems’ Alignment
  • From College to Career: A Discussion on the Future of Texas

Participants strengthened their governance skills to support effective leadership, receive timely information, learn best practices, and exchange legislative policies and ideas around the most effective ways to address pressing educational issues. Participants had the opportunity to network with colleagues and experts from throughout the state.


Title Sponsors

Investor Sponsor


  • Monday, January 14
  • Tuesday, January 15

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Travis CD, Third Floor


8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Presidio Foyer, Third Floor


9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Presidio ABC, Third Floor

Welcome Remarks

• Hon. Pauline Medrano, Treasurer, Dallas County, Texas; NALEO President

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Presidio ABC, Third Floor

Session I:


Understanding the Texas Landscape

Latinos have experienced considerable growth in Texas and are projected to be the largest population group in the state in the coming decade. Fueling this increase has been the growth of the young Latino population. This session provided participants with an overview on current and projected demographic changes in the state and explore the implications of such trends on education and the economy.

• Dr. Steve Murdock, Director, Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, Rice University

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Presidio ABC, Third Floor

Session II:


Cultivating Higher Education for a Strong Texas Economy

Texas’s economic power has traditionally been linked to the state’s public higher education system, in which its 106 postsecondary institutions serve as engines of economic mobility and prosperity. For the state to stay competitive in the global economy, experts have indicated that 60 percent of Texans will need a postsecondary credential by 2030. The state’s higher education plan, 60x30TX, focuses on reaching this goal. With more than 700,000 Latinos currently enrolled in postsecondary institutions across the state, it is evident that the future of the state’s economic prosperity is dependent on institutions being able to increase the number of Latino graduates who are prepared to meet the changing demands of the 21st Century economy and labor market. This session provided participants with an update on efforts being led by key stakeholders as they work together to meet the 60x30TX goals and prepare our future educated workforce.

Session Chair: Dr. William Serrata, President, El Paso Community College

• Mr. Jacob Fraire, President and Chief Executive Officer, Texas Association of Community Colleges

• Mr. Julian Alvarez III, Commissioner, Texas Workforce Commission

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Presidio ABC, Third Floor

Session III:


Strengthening Texas’ Leadership to Increase Student Success

Today’s changing economic environment demands innovative and effective leadership and education policymaking from all levels of government. Fulfilling the goals under the 60x30TX plan depends upon a bold and diverse community of leaders who are eager to seize opportunities and embrace the challenge of leading evolving educational systems and tackling barriers that students encounter in their communities. This session equipped policymakers with data trends on the diversity make-up of the leadership roles in postsecondary educational institutions, Latino student enrollment data in K-12 districts, and highlighted cross sector strategies that support policies and practices that promote Latino student success in the classroom and beyond.

Session Chair: Hon. Joe Alderete, Jr., Board Vice President, Alamo Colleges District

• Dr. David Ortiz, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)

• Dr. Mike Flores, Chancellor, Alamo Colleges District

Additional Resources: 1 | 2 | 3

12:45 p.m. – 12:55 p.m.
Presidio ABC, Third Floor

Roundtable Policy Discussion

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Travis CD, Third Floor

Luncheon Presentation:


Census 2020 – Make it Count!

• Ms. Erica Bernal-Martinez, Chief Operating Officer, NALEO Educational Fund

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Presidio ABC, Third Floor

Session IV:


Leveraging the Transfer Process to Improve Student Success

Students who depend on community college transfer as the pathway to four-year attainment are more likely to be first-generation and/or low-income students. In Texas, work has been done to better align high school dual enrollment coursework with college course requirements. Yet students still accumulate excess credits which may not count towards their postsecondary degrees. To better support students and lower institutional costs, leaders at postsecondary institutions have strengthened practices to improve transfer rates and apply student credits; allocate resources for high school dual enrollment program advising; and encourage stronger regional collaboration between two- and four-year institutions to align offerings with regional labor market needs. In this session, policymakers were informed of efforts that are being led by state, system, and institutional leaders around transfer strategies to improve the experiences and outcomes for baccalaureate-seeking transfer students.

Session Chair: Dr. Cesar Maldonado, Chancellor, Houston Community College District

• Dr. Lauren Schudde, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, College Of Education, The University of Texas at Austin
PRESENTATION | Resources: 1 | 2

• Ms. Eyra Perez, Technical Assistance Coordinator, Excelencia in Education

Resources: 1 | 2

4:00 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.
Presidio ABC, Third Floor

Roundtable Policy Discussion

4:10 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Presidio ABC, Third Floor

Session V:


Policy Implementation: Short and Long Term Strategies

Policymakers must work collectively to respond to the challenges facing their constituents and regions. This session provided policymakers with an opportunity to engage in a rich discussion to develop an action plan with short and long term strategies to improve student academic and workforce outcomes in their communities.

5:05 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Catalina Ballroom, Lobby Level


5:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Presidio ABC, Third Floor

Closing Remarks

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Republic ABC, 4th Floor

Opening Reception

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Co-Host: State Farm®

Opening Reception Patron:
JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Opening Reception Supporter:
The PFM Group