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Institutions Across Texas Recognized by THECB for Building a Talent Strong Texas

By December 12, 2023Media Releases

Dec. 12, 2023, Austin, Texas – The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has announced five recipients of its 2023 Star Awards. Institutions were recognized for exceptional contributions toward meeting one or more of the goals outlined in the state’s strategic plan for higher education, Building a Talent Strong Texas.

“The Star Awards continue to shine a light on the most innovative practices developed by Texas institutions to contribute to the success of our students,” said Dr. Fred Farias, chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. “This year’s honorees carry on the tradition of excellence that this award has come to represent by advancing successful student outcomes.”

This year’s awardees include:

  • Houston Community College for its Vocational Advancement and Skill Training (VAST) Academy
  • Texas A&M University for its Open Educational Resources efforts
  • Texas Southmost College for its overall efforts to improve student success
  • Texas Tech University for its Raider Success Hub
  • University of North Texas for its Empower, Learn, Excel, enVision, Advance, Rise (ELEVAR) program

Selected institutions demonstrated a focus in one or more of the following categories:

  • Student Success: Consistent and aligned educational outcomes for all students, particularly students from disadvantaged backgrounds or low-income families.
  • Digital Learning: Improving opportunity and affordability through increased access to courses and quality digital learning experiences.
  • Advising & Career Services: Equipping students with both the knowledge and skills needed to successfully navigate the 21st Century workforce.
  • Research & Innovation: Increasing the number of graduate students pursuing high-quality research and innovation credentials by improving graduate education pathways.

Awardees were honored Dec. 12 at the Higher Edge 2023: Leading Texas’ Future conference in Austin. The annual leadership conference brings together regents, trustees, chancellors, presidents, policy makers, and other leaders in higher education, business and industry, and philanthropy to discuss critical higher education issues.


This year the conference explored the future of higher education as it relates to artificial intelligence (AI), the talent pipeline, innovations in credentials, digital learning, teaching and advising, and more. The agenda included panel discussions, breakout sessions, and keynote speakers, culminating in the annual The State of Higher Education address from Commissioner of Higher Education Harrison Keller.


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