In 2015, SA2020 published the Talent Pipeline Taskforce Report which identified 285,000 adults in Bexar County with some college no degree. The Graduate! Network, a national network connecting adults to high-quality degrees and certificates, was identified as an evidenced based practice for supporting adult learners. With twenty-one other sites around the country, Upgrade is the first and only Graduate! Network affiliate in Texas. TG provided funding for a consultant to begin creating the foundation and partnerships for Upgrade. Through this work, an advisory council was created with representation from Bexar County, City of San Antonio, Chamber of Commerce, SA Works, HEB, and the San Antonio Education Partnership. Partnerships were created with higher education partners as well as with local elected officials, businesses, and community based organizations. Later, it was determined that Upgrade would be added as the fourth program of the San Antonio Education Partnership.
Upgrade officially launched on April 5, 2017, and the event featured Judge Nelson Wolff and Mayor Ivy Taylor among other guest speakers.
Upgrade is housed in cafécollege and is the next step in programming for the San Antonio Education Partnership (a 501 C3 nonprofit), which provides advising in college access to students in local area high schools and through cafécollege. SAEP has been established since 1989. In total, SAEP impacts the lives of almost 45,000 students every year through 4 programs: High School Services, cafécollege, SAEP scholarship, and now, Upgrade.
At this time, Upgrade is funded and supported by the Alamo Colleges, University of the Incarnate Word, Western-Governor’s University, Texas A&M University- San Antonio, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and Goodwill Industries of San Antonio.
For more information, please contact the Program Director, Micaela Ríos at 210-207-4563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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