California College Promise: The Relationship Between State Policy and Local Programs
College Promise programs provide support for students to attend, persevere in, and complete college based on where they live or where they attend school. It has grown from its first program 15 years ago to more than 320 programs in 47 states.
College Promise is not just one specific program — it serves as an umbrella that covers a wide range of programs led by colleges, universities, foundations, and local and state governments. Some only provide financial support, while others offer comprehensive financial, academic, and social support. Despite this variation, they all share a common goal — helping students succeed in higher education and beyond.
This brief is produced by the California College Promise Project (CCPP) at WestEd and 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, exploring the extent to which the legislation may have contributed to structural changes in programs that had existed before the legislation as well as the degree to which it is reflected in the design of programs that were developed after the legislation was in place. This brief provides useful information for policymakers and practitioners from California and other states considering how to best structure both programs and legislation.
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