California College Promise Program and Landscape Scan

January-November, 2018

WestEd, in partnership with PennAHEAD and the College Promise Campaign, was funded by the James Irvine Foundation to investigate the College Promise landscape in California and disseminate the findings to California stakeholders and national constituents. The final report describes the characteristics of California College Promise programs that were serving students in the fall of 2017, and the technical assistance and research needs identified by more than 150 policymakers, leaders, and practitioners across the state. The report also summarizes these stakeholders’ perceptions of the potential impact of College Promise programs on students and institutions as well as the alignment between College Promise and other K-16 student success initiatives.

California College Promise Guidebook

Ongoing, from Spring 2018

With the impending launch of a new wave of Promise programs in California in the fall of 2018, institutional leaders and community stakeholders are seeking high-quality, readily-available guidance. The California College Promise Project, with assistance from College Futures Foundation, is compiling a California College Promise Guidebook to respond to this need. The Guidebook will provide a step-by-step process for building a robust College Promise program, with an emphasis on cross-segmental and -sectoral partnerships, clear and simple messaging to students and their families, alignment with academic and student support services, and sustainable financial support. The Guidebook will include research summaries, examples from existing programs, and worksheets and templates for program teams to complete.

Promises That Count: College Promise in Los Angeles County

Ongoing, from Spring 2018

The California College Promise Project at WestEd, with funding from the California Community Foundation and in partnership with Unite-LA and the Campaign for College Opportunity, launched the Promises That Count Initiative in Spring 2018. The three-year initiative focuses on developing, implementing, and strengthening academic support and student services in College Promise programs throughout Los Angeles County.

Initiative activities will be conducted in two groups: the Promises That Count Alliance, comprised of cross-sector teams from all College Promise programs in Los Angeles County, and the Promises That Count Community of Practice, a subset of seven teams from the larger Alliance. WestEd staff and other statewide and national leaders will work with the teams in both groups to identify goals and related measurable objectives, design and implement program improvements, and track and evaluate progress for continuous improvement.

Prior Projects

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. 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, 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.