Alachua County Education Compact Strengthens Leadership & Streamlines Approach
In support of advancing under a “Collective Impact” model, the Alachua County Education Compact (ACEC) has combined the initiative’s two, former leadership groups—the ACEC Stewardship Council and the Chamber’s Talent Alignment and Education Committee—into one body. Under the leadership of Chair Dug Jones, Santa Fe College’s Vice President of Economic Development, the Leadership Council will govern the initiative going forward. Combining the two groups, which were formerly and separately responsible for strategy and resources is a first step toward increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Compact.
As a “Collective Impact” model, the Compact represents the signers’ commitment to a common agenda for addressing a single specific issue: aligning education opportunities with industry needs to create pathways to success for Alachua County students. The Collective Impact model also calls for a shared measurement system, mutually reinforcing activities and a single organization or entity to function as a “backbone organization,” to staff and manage the initiative’s activities. The Chamber undertook the role of serving as the backbone organization when the Compact was signed, and has spent nearly two years facilitating a process that has resulted in the signers’ agreement on a common agenda to achieve six goals that would ensure that all students graduate from high school, are prepared for college and/or career success, have access to pathways to sustainable jobs and careers, and develop healthy lifestyle habits, appreciation for the arts and a sense of social responsibility.
Moving forward, the Council will approach the Compact’s work in two phases. For phase I, the Compact will focus on the first three goals: ensuring all students graduate from high school; have access to and are prepared for college and/or career success; and have access to pathways to sustainable jobs and careers. Phase I success will be defined by twenty-one separate measures—including rates of graduation, promotion, attendance and kindergarten readiness; advanced course enrollment and exam passage rates; college readiness, acceptance and enrollment rates; career-technical education certifications and credits; and more. Additionally, the Compact will be implementing a consultant’s recent recommendations to prioritize the development and implementation of a community asset map, a system and process for metrics and data collection, an evolved structure to support its mission and goals, and an action plan to keep signers engaged in advancing Phase I goals.
The Chamber has also formed the Human Capital Foundation, which raised more than $15,000 in 2016 and will continue to lead fundraising efforts to ensure the Compact’s activities can be properly resourced.
Look for upcoming future updates on the Compact and its progress over the last two years.