The concept of learning for life is close to my heart.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Nancy Zimpher, former chancellor of the State University of New York System, for influencing my thinking in this area. Nancy’s work to institute a cradle to career approach at SUNY (and her continued role as a champion on this topic) illustrate the importance of a seamless education pipeline.
The concept is straightforward—education begins at birth, continues through school, college, then into one’s career years and (ideally) into retirement.
Universities play a pivotal role here. We are the connectors that can bring this continuum to fruition. Though we are in the business of higher education, we must think more broadly about the needs of our city's students and how best we can help prepare them for college and careers.
The benefits of this approach are multifaceted—not only does it mean higher levels of achievement for San Antonio’s children and improved graduation rates for UTSA, it also bolsters the local ecosystem. Developing strong partnerships with the city, local schools and the business community are key to achieving better educational outcomes for all.
For more reading on this topic, I’d recommend reviewing the resources compiled by StriveTogether.