Economic Mobility Lunch and Learn: Featuring Texas Innovations on Equity Platforms

Educators and community leaders from across Dallas County and north Texas shared their experiences using innovative platform technologies to improve equity in college and workforce outcomes at a Lunch & Learn session hosted by EMS at Dallas College’s Garland Center on June 29, 2021.

The session was the first in-person meeting since 2019 for many participants, including teams from Dallas County Promise partners Dallas College, UNT Dallas, Dallas ISD and Garland ISD, providing a much-anticipated forum for sharing best practices and successes achieved over a difficult period for institutional learning.  Included in the audience were representatives from regional community groups as well as the recently announced Rural College Promise program, including Grayson College, Tyler Junior College and North Central Texas College from rural north and east Texas.  

During the session, each of the four Dallas County Promise partners shared how they have used leading-edge technologies and tools, developed by EMS on equity platforms Salesforce and GreenLight Credentials, to help more Dallas County students complete college and begin careers.

In his welcome, Chancellor of Dallas College Dr. Joe May spoke of the equity platform vision for student-centered success: “As our world advances, so must our efforts to educate and shape the minds of tomorrow – truly empowering them on their path to good-paying jobs and fulfilling careers. Real-time data will continue to guide us throughout this process, ensuring more equitable outcomes.”  

Added EMS CEO and Founder Eric Ban, “When Chancellor May and other Dallas County leaders helped initiate the Dallas County Promise in 2017, we knew that the work would take courageous leadership and patience.  Today in north Texas, we have witnessed the power of collaborative leadership and everyone taking ownership for the success of every student and placing their needs first, exemplified by our presenting organizations and others. Only now, are we beginning to fully realize the full potential of these powerful equity platforms, with Promise students and system-wide, to bring about a positive and long-lasting impact on our communities.”

Highlights of the Lunch & Learn sessions from institutions include:

    • Garland Independent School District’s Director of Guidance and Counseling – Tiffany Gilmore – presented how her district is understanding and using data in new ways, like geo-mapping financial aid completion to look for community hot sports and community-based intervention points such as churches, community centers and elementary schools. 

    • Dr. Usamah Rodgers, Dallas ISD Deputy Chief of Strategic Initiatives discussed the range of ways the district is leveraging technology to solve complex problems, such as case managing college readiness, automating career pathway map and developing powerful communication campaigns.  

    • Dallas College’s Dean of Recruitment & Retention Anabel Juarez and Associate Vice Chancellor of Economic Opportunity Ben Magill teamed up to present the college’s work designing and managing one of the largest case management implementations in the county focused on the full student journey.  

    • Finally, Stephanie Holley, Vice President for Student Access and Success and Lara Huddleston, Director of Enrollment Strategics and Student Administration, both with UNT Dallas, presented their university’s success in driving enrollment. 
  • At the close of the meeting, participants summarized their take-away from the day in one word.

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