SAN ANTONIO - As the fifth annual Destination College Week gets ready to begin Wednesday, the head of SA2020 said the city still has a ways to go to meet its education goals.
The nine-day effort consists of a series of events aimed at getting San Antonio students interested in college. Tied into Destination College Week's goals is one put forward in the SA2020 vision -- half of residents older than 25 holding an associate degree or higher by 2020.
It was one of several education goals developed after a series of community meetings and forums.
"In our brains, in order to get to that goal, you have to start saying the words 'college' out loud," SA2020 President and CEO Molly Cox said.
Since 2011, SA2020 and other community organizations have been shouting "college" during Destination College Week, culminating in college signing day.
"We had over 2,000 participate last year come and sort of celebrate. Just like a football team would celebrate signing people, we celebrate them for signing onto college," Cox said.
First lady Michelle Obama even showed up in 2014.
"You see what I learned is a milestone like this means you just raised the bar for yourself," Obama told the crowd.
SA2020 is still working on meeting its bar. In 2010, 30.7 percent of San Antonio adults had a degree. The most recent number on SA2020's website is 32.5 percent in 2014, a long way from the 50 percent goal.
"There's been some very cool and concerted efforts on getting students into and through college and also really looking at adult learners as well," Cox said.
Efforts continue during Destination College Week, too, whether it's through sending college information to elementary and middle school classrooms or getting as many San Antonians as possible to wear their college's T-shirt.
"There's something to be said for a positive atmosphere of telling a student, 'We know you can do it, and we're here to help you,'" Cox said.
Destination College Week begins with a 7:30 a.m. breakfast at Sunset Station on Wednesday. For a full list of events, click here.
Copyright 2016 by KSAT - All rights reserved.