College of the Canyons is one of seven California community colleges selected to participate in the Promises That Count initiative, which aims to support the continuous improvement and development of College Promise programs to help more Los Angeles County students graduate.
The three-year initiative – a partnership with the Campaign for College Opportunity, UNITE-LA, and the California College Promise Project at WestEd – will promote countywide sharing of best strategies and practices across programs.
“It is an honor to have been selected to be a part of this exciting initiative,” College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said. “As our innovative First-Year Promise program enters its second year, we look forward to identifying new strategies to help students achieve their goals.”
The college will participate in the Promises That Count Community of Practice effort, which will focus on strategies to improve and strengthen College Promise programs in Los Angeles County.
As a participating institution, College of the Canyons will receive a $30,000 support grant from WestEd, as well as guidance from College Promise leaders through phone calls and in-person meetings.
“There is strength in numbers, and this cross-county initiative will undoubtedly strengthen College Promise programs and ensure their continuous success,” said Denee Pescarmona, dean of instructional support and student success at the college. “We are incredibly thankful to have been selected and look forward to working with other College Promise programs.”
Launched in fall 2017, the college’s First-Year Promise program provides increased opportunities for new full-time college students to achieve their educational goals by waiving tuition and fees for their first year of study. During its inaugural year, 63 percent of the 260 students enrolled in the program maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
The College of the Canyons Foundation has committed to raising $500,000 over the next two years to support First-Year Promise. It has already raised more than $360,000. Information about the fundraising campaign is available at www.firstyearpromise.com.
The application period for First-Year Promise is now open for the 2018-19 cohort, which the college anticipates will benefit 350 students. Deadline to apply is May 11.
Founded in 1966, WestEd is a San Francisco-based nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that works to improve learning, achieve equity and promote excellence for people of all ages.
For more information about First-Year Promise and to apply, visit www.canyons.edu/promise.