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AB 1741 creates a $15 million grant program to help community college districts to establish local promise programs
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California Community Colleges Interim Chancellor Erik E. Skinner today is praising Gov. Jerry Brown for signing AB 1741 (Rodriguez and O’Donnell). The bill establishes the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program, which creates partnerships between K-12, community college and four-year university segments to provide pathways for students to achieve educational goals. Gov. Brown signed the legislation on Wednesday.
“This grant program is a big win for students, and the state of California,” said Interim Chancellor Skinner. “These college promise partnerships help bring down the cost of higher education and in turn help students earn a certificate or degree and find good paying jobs. These partnerships also create pathways that help get more students to and through college. There is an immediate demand for more skilled workers in California and programs like these will go a long way in helping get Californians into our state’s community colleges and close the achievement gap.”
The bill directs the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office to make available grants for community college districts working to establish or expand College Promise programs. The grants will be used to address college preparedness, improve transfer and graduation rates and reduce achievement gaps for underrepresented students in postsecondary education. In order to be eligible for a grant, a district must partner with one or more K-12 districts and one or more California State University or University of California campuses. One-time funding of $15 million for the implementation of the grant program was included in SB 826 (Leno), the Budget Act of 2016.
AB 1741 was inspired in part by the nationally recognized Long Beach College Promise, a successful partnership between Long Beach City College (LBCC), the Long Beach Unified School District and California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Through the program, students are guaranteed a tuition-free year at LBCC and preferred admission status to CSULB after completing the minimum transfer requirements.
California is a leader in the development and implementation of College Promise programs with 23 programs in place as of August 2016. The state is primed to develop more of these programs because community colleges can leverage the program’s financial and partnership supports with the existing California Board of Governors Fee Waiver Program, which pays enrollment fees for low-income students. The trend gained momentum in 2015, when President Barack Obama announced the America’s College Promise proposal during his State of the Union address. That same year, the College Promise Campaign, a national non-partisan, non-profit organization, was established to develop a network of support
for College Promise efforts.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 113 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education in English and math, and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor's Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit h ttp:l/californiacomm unitvcolleges.cccco.edu/, https:l/www. facebook.comiCACommColleges, or