The Santa Clarita Community College District, which oversees College of the Canyons (COC), was one of 14 community college districts selected to participate in the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program.
Members of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors officially approved the 14 districts during the board’s meeting Monday.
With the grant program, college districts will receive financial support to implement or expand their College Promise partnerships.
“California is a national leader in the establishment of College Promise partnerships, and we are excited that this grant program will lead to even more of these community-based efforts to increase college going rates and improve student success,” said Board President Cecilia V. Estolano in a press release.
The Santa Clarita Community College District received $750,000, the maximum amount a single college and single district applicant was eligible for, through the grant program.
Eric Harnish, COC’s vice president of public information, advocacy and external relations, said the college received notification of the grant a couple weeks ago and is using it to fund the college’s First Year Promise program beginning in fall 2017.
“The First Year Promise program gives qualified incoming students the opportunity to attend College of the Canyons tuition-free and fee-free for their first fall and spring semester,” Harnish said. “We estimate that student that participates will save about $1,500.”
The program is expected to launch will 300 qualified students.
Harnish said the program will provide students with a parking permit, a $100 bookstore credit for the fall and spring semester, priority registration and enrollment, weekly counseling in the fall and career exploration, among other benefits.
The pathway program is meant to “provide increased opportunities for new full-time college students to achieve their educational goals,” according to COC.
With the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program, colleges must develop partnership with their local school district and community organizations that will “enable successful programs to be replicated across the state” and must provide clear pathways for students to follow.
The goal of the program is to support regional programs that increase college preparation, application and success.
Currently, more than 50 College Promise partnerships are in place or in stages of development throughout California.
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