promise scholarsThe San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) has been awarded a $3,000,000 grant to support Skyline College’s Promise Scholars Program (PSP), and the implementation of the program at five colleges across the state, including the College of San Mateo and Cañada College. The grant was awarded by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors as part of $20 million distributed to 11 districts and colleges as part of the Chancellor’s Innovation Awards in Higher Education. SMCCCD was awarded the largest individual grant.

“The work the San Mateo County Community College District will be able to do as a result of this grant will be a game-changer for so many of our students,” said Ron Galatolo, SMCCCD Chancellor. “Creating clearly defined pathways from college entry to completion and providing comprehensive advising and wrap-around support services for students will allow them to be successful inside and outside the classroom.”

The Promise Scholars Program (PSP) at Skyline College is based on the City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (CUNY ASAP) which has demonstrated the ability to dramatically increase completion and help eliminate equity gaps in student success based rigorous evaluation and experimental research. The grant funds will support the replication of that program to five colleges across California in order to increase graduation rates.

“This significant grant award validates and underscores the critical importance of the work Skyline College has done through its Promise Scholars Program,” said Regina Stanback Stroud, Ed.D, president of Skyline College. “We are now presented with an incredible opportunity to share this proven model with our sister colleges in the district and with other college’s throughout the state, ensuring that this comprehensive and conscientious work can transform lives and improve student success beyond the bounds of our campus.”

Skyline College is the only California community college that is recognized as a CUNY ASAP replication site, having received technical assistance from CUNY ASAP’s National Replication team since February 2017, as supported by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
“We are proud to continue and build upon our partnership with Skyline College, supporting their vision to expand the Promise Scholars Program so that San Mateo County Community College District realizes the unprecedented completion impact that ASAP has had across CUNY,” remarks CUNY’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and ASAP Executive Director Donna Linderman.

Skyline College will serve as the lead for the scaling of the PSP, first within the district, and subsequently throughout the state. A cohort of five colleges will receive structured technical assistance from CUNY ASAP and Skyline College for the implementation of the PSP model. Additional statewide workshops will be offered by the SMCCCD in partnership with the state Chancellor’s Office to disseminate the PSP model and its ability to achieve student success, equity, and completion outcomes.

About the Chancellor’s Higher Education Innovation Awards
The 2017-18 Budget Act included $20 million for the Chancellor’s Higher Education Innovation Awards to be awarded by the board of governors. The awards recognize innovations that improve student success, and are sustainable and capable of being scaled across the state, with a particular focus on all of the following:
Programs and frameworks that support students from groups that are underrepresented in higher education, such as low-income students, students from underrepresented schools and neighborhoods, first-generation students, students who are current or former foster youth, and students with disabilities.
Targeted services and programs for students who are current or former members of the Armed Forces of the United States.
Programs and frameworks that support adults who have been displaced from the workforce, and adults who are underemployed, so as to obtain the necessary training for gainful employment.

Programs that support incarcerated adults in prisons and jails, including formerly incarcerated adults.

Programs that incorporate technology to improve instruction and support services with a plan to ensure student success in these types of programs.

A review committee, comprised of the chancellor’s executive staff and board members Connie Conway and Bill Rawlings, reviewed the readers’ findings and recommended the awardees and award amounts to the chancellor and board of governors. Those applicants receiving the highest scores are recommended for an Innovation Award.

The committee selected the following award winners:

  • Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint Community College District (Shasta College) – $1,500,000
  • Foothill-De Anza Community College District (De Anza College) – $1,900,000
  • Laney College – $1,100,000
  • Glendale Community College – $1,900,000
  • San Mateo Community College District (Skyline College, Cañada College and College of San Mateo) – $3,000,000
  • Santa Rosa Junior College – $1,600,000
  • College of the Redwoods – $1,200,000=
  • Imperial Valley College – $2,500,000
  • Chaffey Community College – $1,000,000
  • Kern Community College District (Bakersfield College) – $2,300,000
  • Irvine Valley College – $2,000,000

A list of all applications and more information can be found on the Chancellor’s Higher Education Innovation Awards website.

Article by Cherie Colin | Photo by Kevin Perez

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