Our Work

The Relationship between College Promise Funding Models and Equity

The Relationship between College Promise Funding Models and Equity

With funding from the Kresge Foundation, CPP staff investigated the funding sources of robust California College Promise programs to create a framework for understanding program funding models. The team then explored the relationship between these funding models and program features that can lead to more equitable access, persistence, and completion for marginalized students: sustainability, robustness, and inclusiveness. This report will provide evidence for practitioners and policymakers to use in developing or redesigning their College Promise programs and policy at the local, state, and national levels. 

Do Part-Time Students Benefit from College Promise Programs?

The College Promise Project at WestEd and Cerritos College in southern California collaborated to investigate the relationship between participation in Cerritos Complete Promise, a student success program at Cerritos College, and student persistence and completion outcomes. The study findings will provide evidence for practitioners and policymakers to use in developing or revising their College Promise programs and policy at the local, state, and national levels.


Do Part-Time Students Benefit From College Promise Programs

Ecosystems of Support for Traditional-aged College Students

A College Promise Project-led team wrote a report that outlines the supports and services that traditional-age students need to thrive in college. This report was one of five reports published by the Ecosystems of Support initiative. The initiative, coordinated by College Promise and Educational Testing Service (ETS), also examined four other student populations including New and Returning Adult Students; DREAMers; Student Veterans; and Justice-Impacted Students.

Evaluation of the Kansas City Scholars Program

The College Promise Project at WestEd completed two evaluation cycles of the Kansas City Scholars Program (KC Scholars), a program that was launched in 2016 to help low- and modest-income students in the six-county Kansas City metropolitan area enroll in and complete higher education and, ultimately, to strengthen the regional economy. For each evaluation cycle, the CPP produced an executive summary, a report that describes trends over time in applicant and awardee characteristics, and a report on the impact of KC Scholars on college enrollment, persistence, and completion for each evaluation cycle. The 2020 executive summary, descriptive report, and impact report coincides with the program’s fourth year of operation. The 2021 executive summary, descriptive report, and impact report coincides with the program’s fifth year of operation.

California College Promise AB19 Policy Brief

This brief describes the relationship between the 2017 legislation “Community Colleges: California College Promise” (AB19) and the structure of local College Promise programs. The analysis examines College Promise programs between August 2017 and August 2019. Policymakers and practitioners from California and other states will find it useful when considering how to structure both programs and legislation. Read it here.

California College Promise Landscape Brief

This research brief highlights key similarities and variations in California’s College Promise Programs. It describes the current program structures and provides reflections on how program characteristics relate to equitable student access and outcomes. This is the second in the CCPP brief series that shed light on various aspects of the College Promise movement in California. The first brief that outlines the policy context that helped fuel the growth of the movement can be found here.


California College Promise Policy Brief

The California College Promise Policy brief outlines the policy landscape that helped fuel the growth of College Promise in California. It  reflects on issues that have arisen as the state’s College Promise legislation and reforms have been implemented, and offers recommendations for maximizing the equity and impact of the California model of College Promise. Read it here.

The College Promise Guidebook

The College Promise Guidebook for California and Beyond helps teams develop, strengthen, or expand a College Promise program. Each section of the Guidebook includes embedded tools and exercises to help teams design the core program structure and functionality.Research summaries and examples from the field are embedded throughout the Guidebook to help you learn from other College Promise programs and to make evidence-based decisions about program design and implementation. Find and download the guidebook and a customizeable cost estimator tool here.

Report on College Promise in California for the James Irvine Foundation

This report from the California College Promise Project at WestEd describes the College Promise landscape in California, including the number of College Promise programs, the features of those programs, and the general perceptions of College Promise held by practitioners, leaders, and policymakers. Access the full report, entitled California College Promise: Program Characteristics and Perceptions from the Field, and learn more about the CCPP’s work in California in this recent article in Forbes.

AB 19 Resources

Since fall 2017, when Assembly Bill 19 (AB 19) was signed into law establishing the California College Promise, CCPP staff have been tracking the evolution of this legislation and sharing updates with the field. Visit our page of resources on AB 19, including our one-page explainer and a collection of guidance documents released by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

California College Promise Graphic

The CCPP Graphic (PNG) illustrates the aspirational vision of California College Promise that is broader than that of a traditional financial assistance program. In College Promise programs, education, government, business, philanthropy, and community partners collaborate to create a framework of supports and services to improve college affordability, access, and completion for all students.

Promises That Count: College Promise in Los Angeles

Fall 2017

The Promises That Count Report (PDF) includes a summary of the key features of the 14 College Promise programs in Los Angeles County that were implemented by fall 2017, detailed descriptions of the programs in LA County that were implemented prior to fall 2017, and a summary of College Promise-related state policies.


The College Promise in California: A Collection of Program Profiles

Summer 2016

This collection profiles the 23 California College Promise programs that offer financial support to students to attend a California community college and were announced by Summer 2016 (PDF). For each program, the booklet includes a program summary, history, and contact information. Details are also included about student qualifications, type of financial disbursement (first or last dollar), student costs covered through the program, program funding sources, data being tracked, and research findings. The booklet offers easily accessible information to teams who are developing, implementing, improving, and evaluating College Promise programs in their community, and aims to encourage a broad community of College Promise learning and support in California. Booklets were distributed to all participants at the 2016 California College Promise Event (see below), to participants at the American Community College Trustees meeting, and to participants of PromiseNet, the national annual College Promise conference. A total of 1,200 booklets were disseminated across the nation.