Public Speaking Training

Communities In Schools alumni are invited to join us on Wednesday, February 6th for dinner at 5:30 p.m. followed by public speaking training from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Join your peers in a fun, activities-based training to help you improve your public speaking skills!

  • Public Speaking Training Session for former CIS students
  • February 6th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • At the Communities In Schools Central Office, 3000 South IH-35, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78704.
  • Free parking. Free event.
  • RSVP to if you plan to attend.2018 alumni training

Join the National CIS Network on LinkedIn

Join the CIS National Alumni Network on LinkedIn to connect to a supportive group of CIS alumni, staff and volunteers who want to help everyone succeed. Learn more at

The best part? The ALN was created for alumni, by alumni.

Whether you are pursuing college or your career, have questions or answers, the ALN will continue the community of support you experienced with CIS while working toward your high school diploma.
You also have access to fellow CIS alumni all across the country who can help answer your pressing personal and professional leadership questions – so ask them!

Austin Community College Fest

Experience ACC.

Everyone is welcome to this FREE event, so bring friends and family!


Saturday, November 3

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Highland Campus, Building 4000 |Map

WATCH live demonstrations in welding, surgical technology, and more.

LEARN about the fastest-growing industries and jobs in Central Texas.

MEET representatives from ACC’s 10 areas of study and 100+ programs.

TOUR the Bioscience Incubator.

PREVIEW the brand new Fashion Incubator.

GET ANSWERS about financial assistance, training programs, transfer opportunities, and more!

Click here to RSVP

CIS Alumni Network Kickoff

The CIS Alumni Network kicked off the 2018/19 year with a meeting on September 5th.

The next meeting will be held at the CIS Central Office on Wednesday, October 3rd starting at 5:30 p.m. The October 3rd meeting date will be devoted to training former CIS students who are interested in mentoring a high school senior.

Contact Debra Joiner for more information:

2018 mixer

2018-2019 Bill & Jean Milliken Alumni Fellowship

Communities In Schools National, through its Milliken Center for Innovation and Student Success, is now accepting fellowship applications for 2018-2019 through this first-ever call for applications. This opportunity is for CIS alumni who wish to spend nine months in residence in the Washington, DC area or work remotely from home with regular visits to the National Office, tackling a public policy development project or problem of practice related to Integrated Student Supports. The selected Fellow would work alongside CIS National staff in a collaborative, cross-functional exploration of some of the most important and compelling issues facing CIS and the students we serve. Through this annual call for applications, we seek to advance our collective work and give voice to the next generation of CIS leaders and thinkers, while honoring Bill and Jean Milliken’s unique contributions to this organization.

2018 Fellowship Focus

This year’s focus, derived from the inaugural Milliken Dialogues, is “Preparing All Students for College, Career and Civic Engagement.”  Dialogue participants suggested several subject matter areas worthy of further exploration or work, as follows:

  • Developing an advocacy strategy for CIS with the nation’s governors.
  • Developing partnerships for “soft skill” development and CIS affiliates.
  • Engaging with school districts to set and understand goals for CIS in helping all students be prepared for college, career and civic engagement.
  • Fostering work-based learning or internships/apprenticeships during high school
  • Working on measures of “soft skills” and social emotional learning (research at CIS is already underway).
  • Working with CIS to prepare training or materials for principals to understand how Integrated Student Supports help their students be prepared for life after graduation.

Interested applicants should consider how they might approach one or more of these topics, and propose a project that addresses site coordinator training, public policy, or innovation.  Projects might include research, curriculum development, proposed policy changes, advocacy training, or a product/service to advance the topic.  Be bold!  Projects that demonstrate creative thinking, even if the idea is not fully formed yet, will be a good demonstration of your talents.

All projects must focus on the work of CIS and the provision of Integrated Student Supports in a way that achieves the organization’s mission to surround students with a network of support, so they stay in school and achieve in life.

Download the Call for Applications to learn more and apply. The deadline for applications is Thursday, May 31, 2018.


Click here to learn more.

New research offers hope to first-generation college grads

Pay stubs of first-generation students match those of wealthier peers

A February 2018 report found that, nationwide, those who earn a bachelor’s degree are likely to earn the same paychecks as their peers who had more educated parents.

Economists have been finding that it’s getting harder to move up in America. Kids who come from poor families are more likely to remain poor as adults than in the past. But data released from the statistics division of the U.S. Department of Education earlier this month points out that a college education can still be a lever of social mobility. Even college graduates whose parents had never attended any college at all were still working at the same rates and earning the same salaries, on average, as their peers with better-educated parents.

Consider students who graduated from college with a four-year bachelor’s degree during the 2007-08 academic year. Five years later, in 2012, the majority of these young college graduates had full-time jobs. For those whose parents had never attended any college, often referred to as “first-generation” students, 57 percent were working full time and earning $45,000 a year, on average. For those who had at least one parent who had attended some college, 58 percent were working full time and earning $43,000. And for those who had at least one parent with a college degree, 59 percent were working full time and making $45,500. From a statistical perspective, these rates and salaries are identical, according to the February 2018 report produced by RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

“It’s partially good news. It doesn’t matter who you are as long as you hold a diploma in your hands,” said Ray Franke, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston. “For the few [first-generation students] who make it through the pipeline, chances are they can progress just like their peers and lead a successful middle-income life.” Read more.


Photo of Jill Barshay