House Bill 18
In May 2015 the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 18 with overwhelming support, to bolster the college and career advising available to students in middle and high schools. HB 18 assigns primary responsibility to The University of Texas at Austin for developing the Texas Postsecondary and Career Counseling Academy, now known as Texas OnCourse. While UT Austin was charged to lead the project, a broad network of partners and the professional expertise of counselors and advisers will inform the design and implementation of all aspects of the initiative, including technology-enabled content and infrastructure.
Texas OnCourse is designed to support streamlined student pathways to postsecondary and career success across the state of Texas, through the use of best in class online content modules for secondary counselors, advisers and students, technology-enabled advising tools, and robust professional advisory and support networks. The technology-enabled training opportunities will improve secondary school counselors’ and advisers’ daily workflow and technical capabilities—particularly in the implementation of HB 5 high school graduation requirements. An outline of the topics that will be covered in the training for counselors and advisers can be found here. The online learning opportunities for middle school students and their families will help inform them about career opportunities and educational pathways available across the state of Texas. Additionally, data visualization advising tools will leverage and extend the state’s data capabilities, inform postsecondary and career advising and improve the quality of educational programs.