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College 1st has established a partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund, The Academies to Nashville, and RGV LEAD to bring the Ford Next Generation Learning Model to School Districts across the Rio Grande Valley. 

Ford STEAM Experience video


A South Texas delegation of over 200 members composed of School Board members, Superintendents, and School administrators from 9 school districts along with business and community leaders have participated in the Academies of Nashville Study Tour, a Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) Model Community. Ford NGL is a unique and comprehensive initiative that brings together educators, employers, and community leaders to implement a proven model for transforming secondary schools and the entire workforce development system. Ernesto Villarreal, Ford NGL Leadership Council Member and Texas Liaison, has been working in partnership with RGV LEAD, RGV Partnership, and City EDCs along with an innovative and visionary group of South Texas Superintendents, postsecondary, Business, and Community Leaders to adopt the Ford NGL Model for school districts across the Rio Grande Valley. Members of the South Texas Delegation have visited the Academies of Nashville Study Tour where they participated in school visits engaging with Academy Students, Principals, Teachers, Counselors, Community, and Business partners. They participated in role-like sessions with district administration including: Board Members, the Superintendent, the Academic Chief of Schools, Economic Development Representatives, and Community Partners. As of today, there are many school districts across the Rio Grande Valley that have adopted the Academy Model. We are proud to support their efforts. Our Academy Students have been invited by Ford Motor Company to their headquarters after winning the National STEM Challenge. They also have been featured in several Ford NGL National Conferences across the country.


About MNPS

The Metropolitan Nashville Public School system has over 83,000 students with 12 comprehensive high schools and over 266 active business partners. A few years ago they developed a Master Plan adopting the Ford NGL Model, which has resulted in an increase of their graduation rate by over 20% and their attendance to 93% in less than 7 years. Ford NGL blends the expertise of stakeholders within and across communities. Three distinct but interconnected strands comprise the Ford NGL framework, which enables whole communities to design and carry out a long-term plan for revitalizing education:

Transforming Teaching and Learning

Creating meaningful learning experiences that enable students to learn and apply academic, 21st century, and technical knowledge

and skills to real-world challenges

Transforming the Secondary School Experience

Creating and maintaining career and interest-themed academies and a collaborative culture, structure, and practices

Transforming business & civic engagement

Engaging employers, educators, and community leaders in building and sustaining a transformed secondary school experience

Ford NGL Business and Community Engagement Training - Rio Grande Valley video

Ford NGL Superintendent's Council


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