COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M University System on Monday launched a new, user-friendly version of its EmpowerU site that will make data on affordability, access and academic success at each of its 11 academic institutions more readily available to the public.
The site can be found at: http://empoweru.tamus.edu/
Started in 2011 and initially launched publicly in 2012, EmpowerU is a System-wide initiative to create a culture of completion and affordability — and to do so in manner consistent with the System’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
“We are excited about how far this project has come, but we still have significant progress to make toward our goals for student success.” said Elaine Mendoza, Vice Chairman of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. “Through EmpowerU, we are using current, accurate data to hold ourselves accountable for reducing students’ time to degree, making sure students are workforce ready, lessening student debt and measuring the quality of an education from a Texas A&M System institution. This will ensure success for more students, make better use of scarce state resources, and answer the call on affordability.”
More than 18,000 first-time, full-time students will enter Texas A&M System universities this fall. If current success rates remain unchanged, about one-third of those students will still not have graduated by 2022. On average, those who don’t complete will leave with more than $15,000 in debt, after having consumed state and federal resources, and without a credential to help them advance in the workforce.
“Texas A&M is widely known for solving real world problems in a cost-efficient manner that benefits our students and our state,” said Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. “But you can’t fix a problem if you don’t acknowledge it first. This website makes clear that, despite recent progress, we know there is more work to be done on student completion. We are facing that challenge head on and working with leaders throughout the System to get it done.”
On the EmpowerU site, each university is evaluated based on metrics that reflect the needs and goals of their region and population and were determined by that institution’s leadership in consultation with faculty, staff and the Board of Regents. System institutions were challenged to establish “stretch goals” that encourage university leaders to be bold and move with a sense of urgency.
The data provided for each university is updated as soon as it is processed internally. System officials believe providing data in as close to “real time” as possible provides the public with the most useful information and encourages institutions to identify challenges and make timely adjustments as needed.
The new website also incorporates the System’s LearningU initiative, which focuses on K-12 teacher preparation and support. The Texas A&M System produces more K-12 teachers than any other public university system in Texas, and supports all in-service public school teachers in the state through ongoing professional development and mentoring services.
“We take responsibility for our part in preparing students to succeed in higher education by holding our Colleges of Education accountable for producing effective teachers for Texas’ children, the state’s fastest growing demographic,” Mendoza said. “When we say that the Texas A&M System is doing everything in its control for Texas students of all ages to be successful in their academic and professional pursuits, we want the public to know it’s true. EmpowerU makes that possible.”
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the Texas A&M System educates more than 140,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $946 million in FY 2015 and helped drive the state’s economy.
Executive Director, Media Relations