Beyond Grad

Beyond Grad Initiatives

The Beyond Grad team is working to improve college and career readiness outcomes across the state. To do this effectively, the team takes the following steps to launch new initiatives with a design thinking approach: 1) build a deep understanding of counselor, teacher and administrator experiences in schools; 2) define the core problems faced by those groups and their associated root causes; 3) identify potential solutions to address those issues;  4) test and iterate upon those ideas through pilot programs with schools; 5) measure results to identify interventions that improve outcomes; 6) determine scaling mechanisms to help more schools and districts implement what works.

Piloting Beyond Grad Initiatives with Texas GEAR UP

Through Beyond Grad, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will expand students’ preparation for college and career through multiple interrelated initiatives:

  1. Promote early understanding of career opportunities and pathways by developing high-quality, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)-aligned curriculum and instructional materials for middle school educators;
  2. Increase student access to individualized college and career advising through support of a Near Peer Advising model;
  3. Ensure access to technology tools that support the work of college and career advisors with resources for students, parents and educators.

Beyond Grad initiatives will launch as a pilot program in 6 Texas GEAR UP sites identified below. In addition to the Beyond Grad pilot initiatives, Texas GEAR UP sites will engage in activities that increase academic rigor in participating schools and foster local alliances between participating schools, business partners, and higher education partners.

The following local education agencies have been selected to participate in the Texas GEAR UP cohort: 

  • Culberson County-Allamoore ISD: Van Horn School
  • ESC 19 with San Elizario ISD: San Elizario High School, Ann M Garcia-Enriquez Middle School
  • Mathis ISD: Mathis High School, Mathis Middle School
  • Sheldon ISD: C. E. King High School, C. E. King Middle School, Michael R. Null Middle School
  • Sinton ISD: Sinton High School, E. Merle Smith Middle School
  • Cleveland ISD:  Cleveland High School, Cleveland Middle School


Call for Applications: Beyond Grad at TEA and Texas OnCourse at UT-Austin have recently entered into a partnership that will allow us to provide complete, high-quality college and career readiness and success instruction to more students around the state more quickly.

The first step is conducting a thorough review of existing curricular resources. The Texas OnCourse Middle School Curriculum will be reviewed by teams of experienced subject matter experts (SMEs); the findings and recommendations of the review teams will inform and drive the next key phase of this work - the development of Texas OnCourse Middle School Curriculum Version 3.0 with Family Guide and Student Workbook.

If you are interested in becoming a reviewer, please send inquiries to by April 29.

Beyond Grad Texas GEAR UP College & Career Advising Request for Letters of Interest

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is pleased to announce a grant opportunity for College and Career Readiness (CCR) Advising organizations to innovate and expand programs that will increase college and career readiness, postsecondary enrollment, and postsecondary persistence among Texas high school students. Eligible applicants may be awarded up to $100,000 per school district, for CCR advising to high schools participating in the Texas GEAR UP program. The deadline to submit the application and supporting materials is March 6, 2019.

Project Funding

The project will be funded through a Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) federal discretionary grant. GEAR UP aims to increase preparation for and participation in postsecondary education among low-income students. TEA’s Beyond Grad initiative will pilot advising services within GEAR UP subgrantee schools and, if found to be successful, will promote broad adoption across the state.

Next Steps

Interested applicants should thoroughly review the detailed Project Overview document in Attachment 1. To apply, submit the required responses using the templates provided in Attachments 2, 3A and 3B. Applicants should reference Attachments 4 and 5 for guidance in developing high-quality responses.

  • Attachment 1 – Texas GEAR UP CCR Advising Request for Letters of Interest
  • Attachment 2 – Texas GEAR UP CCR Advising (Optional) Notice of Intent to Apply
  • Attachment 3A – Texas GEAR UP CCR Advising Application Qualitative Questions
  • Attachment 3B – Texas GEAR UP CCR Advising Application Grant Budget Plan
  • Attachment 4 – Texas GEAR UP CCR Advising Appendix - Required Activities
  • Attachment 5 – Texas GEAR UP CCR Advising Evaluation Rubric

Supporting Information

    CCR LOI Timeline



    February 6, 2019


    Request for Competitive Letters of Interest for providing CCR Advising services is posted.

    February 13, 2019


    Last day to submit written questions about Texas GEAR UP CCR grant, no later than 5:00 p.m. CT; Send to with the subject line: “GU - CCR – LOI Question

    February 15, 2019


    Webinar for eligible organizations on February 15, 2019 from 10:00 A.M. CT. Register for the webinar at the following URL:  

    February 19, 2019


    TEA responses to questions submitted prior to and during the webinar posted to the Beyond Grad website:,_Career,_and_Military_Prep/Beyond_Grad 

    February 22, 2019


    Notice of Intent to Submit a Response (Optional) due to TEA no later than 5:00 P.M. CT; Send to with the subject line: “GU – CCR - LOI Notice of Intent .”

    March 8, 2019


    Applicant responses and budgets due to TEA no later than 12:00 Noon CT; Send to with the subject line: “GU - CCR – LOI Response Forms

    Mid-March, 2019    Evaluation and selection process
    Late March, 2019 Grantee award notification
    Contact Information

    Special Projects
    Texas Education Agency