MCALLEN, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott believes Texas higher education institutions need to be much more focused on preparing their students for the work place.

Abbott said it is “inexcusable” that some students go to college for up to six or seven years and still do not find employment.

Abbott made clear his views about higher education at a business summit co-hosted by the Texas Association of Business and the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. The event was held at the McAllen Convention Center.

“We have a lot of people that have gone to college for one, two, three, four, five, six, seven years, whatever it is and they do not have a job. That is inexcusable. There needs to be a goal for education to provide. And that is a pathway to a job,” Abbott said.

“When you graduate from high school you need to be prepared to be working toward a job, whether it be going immediately to a job or going to an education institution that will prepare you for a job that is right for you. It doesn’t mean that everyone is going to be an engineer or a chemist, a scientist or a doctor or a lawyer or whatever. It could be that you are keenly interested in the arts. There are a lot of jobs in the arts.”

Abbott added: “It is inexcusable that we have, in the United States, so many people that are seeking to have their tuition cost eliminated because they went to school and they don’t have a job and they need the government to pay for their tuition costs. We need education to be focused on making sure people get a job.”

In his remarks, Abbott gave a shoutout to Texas State Technical College. All the money TSTC gets from the State of Texas is dependent on its students finding work. 

The attached podcast features Gov. Abbott’s remarks on the purpose of higher eduction and an interview with Cledia R. Hernandez, a former provost of TSTC-Harlingen who now serves as TSTC System’s associate vice chancellor. 


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