The RGV FOCUS Summer Retreat was held to bring RGV FOCUS stakeholders together to update them on the progress of the initiative’s projects and priorities over the last year. As a collective impact initiative, RGV FOCUS aims to work alongside our community to identify assets, gaps, and opportunities for alignment to improve educational outcomes. As such, the retreat was also a chance to give stakeholders a voice in how our initiative achieves its goals moving forward.
Attendees participated in a “target-setting” activity where they were provided with regional data packets, engaged in roundtable discussions with folks from different organizations and institutions to assess and analyze the data, and then selected regional targets for RGV FOCUS Action Network goals that identified where they felt the region should be by 2025. Attendees identified targets for the regional direct to college enrollment rate, the region’s higher education 2-year and 4-year completion rates, and work-based learning opportunities.
In addition to the focus on data, students from different higher education programs were invited to sit with attendees at lunchtime and share their stories. Our hope was that the leaders in the room could connect the data that was shared during the retreat with the individual stories to get a more holistic picture of both the challenges experienced and the assets that Valley students bring to higher education.