studentsThe San Mateo County Community College District has been awarded a one-time, $1.5 million grant to support College Promise programs across all three colleges. The District was one of 14 selected by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to participate in the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program after a competitive application process. Funding is pending Board of Governors approval at their March meeting.

“The California College Promise Grant Program is a testament to the vision and students-first mentality of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and the Chancellor,” said Skyline College President, Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud. “This grant is a huge win for Skyline College and our District. We are already seeing the positive impacts of the Skyline College Promise, and these funds will help us to expand our Skyline College Promise Scholarship and continue to build programs that enable students to get in to college, get through and meet their educational goals on time.”

Approximately $750,000 of the grant funds will support the expansion of Skyline College Promise programs, which launched in 2016 that are part of the College’s commitment to students that they can “get in, get through, and get out on time.” This expansion will include the Skyline College PREP Program which will expand high school outreach across ten feeder high schools in a year-long programming model, the Summer Scholars Institute which will be expanded from 60 students to 210 students in Summer 2017, and the Promise Scholarship Program Lending Library which will be expanded to meet the needs of the Promise Scholarship Program.

The other $750,000 of the grant funds will support the districtwide Promise Scholarship expansion. This will allow for all three colleges within the District to offer the last-dollar scholarship that Skyline College implemented in Fall 2016. Skyline College is aiming to provide scholarships to 500 students by the 2018-19 academic year, an increase of over 350 students compared to the 2016-17 pilot year. The College of San Mateo and Cañada College will launch Promise Scholarship pilot programs for the 2017-18 academic year.

California College Promise Innovation Grant Program applications were reviewed and competitively scored based on meeting minimum required objectives and criteria including project need, response to need, work plan, project management, budget, overall feasibility, and sustainability of the project.

Fifty-one districts applied for funds. The San Mateo County Community College District received the maximum grant amount of $1.5 million. A full list of the California community college districts recommended for funding is available on the Chancellor’s Office website.

About the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program

Assembly Bill (AB) 1741 (Rodriguez) was signed into law in September of 2016 by Governor Brown establishing the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program. This provides financial support to districts interested in implementing new or expanding existing College Promise programs. Generally speaking, College Promise programs are partnerships which align local K-12 school districts, community colleges, and public university segments to provide clear pathways for students to follow in order to achieve their educational goals. In addition, a successful program should also improve college readiness, access, and the overall success and completion of its participants.

The 2016-17 State Budget appropriated one-time funding in the amount of $15 million, to be distributed by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s office, to applicants selected to participate in the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program.