Mission: Graduate Initiative at UNM

December 9, 2013 -

The Mission

Graduate initiative is a cradle-to-career education partnership. The focus is on Central New Mexico counties which include Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance, and Valencia. Based on 2010 Census data, these four counties are home to 32% of the children and youth living in New Mexico. This region comprises 43% of all age groups in New Mexico’s total population. 

The Vision is to create a seamless and coordinated education system that provide equitable opportunities for all children and youth to succeed In school, graduate with a postsecondary degree, and obtain a career of their choosing in Central New Mexico. The overarching goal is to add 60,000 new postsecondary credentials in Central New Mexico by year 2020.

You might be wondering why 60,000 degrees? This number is based upon the New Mexico projected five-year population estimates by 2020 and the need to increase degree attainment by 50% in the population.  Data from the American Community 2010 US Census survey shows when compared to other progressive communities in the Southwest, we fall much lower in degree attainment of adults 25-64 years of age. The Mission Graduate initiative aims to increase our ability to attract new business opportunities by having the educated population to support such investment.

Mission: Graduate set the following five objectives as defined by the educational compact:

  1. Eliminate achievement gaps that persist throughout the educational continuum
  2. Increase high school graduation rates
  3. Increase college and university enrollments
  4. Increase college and university graduation rates
  5. Align these objectives with efforts to recruit new businesses 

Mission: Graduate is a community partnership that receives backbone support from the following organizations.

  • United Way of Central New Mexico (UWCNM) serves as the lead backbone organization for the initiative. UWCNM is now part of a national “learning cohort” of United Way organizations in 12 communities that are receiving technical assistance from the Strive Cradle-to-Career Network and United Way Worldwide.
  • The UNM Center for Education Policy Research serves as the data manager and convener of our community-wide data committee.
  • The UNM Network for Educational Renewal is helping to coordinate our community engagement efforts.

These organizations are not directing the work of the partners, but are working to help the partners chart a common vision, use data more effectively, communicate regularly, and develop a set of mutually reinforcing activities for collaborative action.

To read more, please visit http://www.missiongraduatenm.org/