Sand Canyon Country Club provides financial support to COC’s First Year Promise program

The College of the Canyons Cougar mascot leads the 1766, 2016 College of the Canyons graduating class to the Honor Grove during the commencement ceremony held at the College of the the Canyons Valencia campus in June 2016. Dan Watson/Signal

Sand Canyon Country Club donated $50,000 to the College of the Canyons Foundation to support the college’s First Year Promise program, which gives first-year, full-time students the opportunity to attend COC tuition and fee free during their first year.

The “Sand Canyon Country Club Scholars” contribution—given to COC Chancellor Dianne Van Hook Feb. 22—is expected to support 50 First Year Promise students throughout two years.   

“We are very grateful for Sand Canyon Country Club’s donation toward the First Year Promise program,” said Steve Corn, chairman of the COC Foundation. “This sizable donation will make the dreams and goals of 50 FYP students a reality.”

This is the third major, corporate donation to the COC Foundation to support its First Year Promise program.  Last year, both Scorpion and Logix Federal Credit Union provided financial support to the program.

“Obtaining an education can open doors and lead to success,” Sand Canyon Country Club CEO Steve Kim said. “It is my honor to support College of the Canyons in its goal to make high-quality education accessible to all students, regardless of their financial situation.”

First Year Promise

COC’s First Year Promise program was first launched in fall 2017 after the college was awarded a $750,000 grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to support College Promise partnerships.

As one of 14 colleges chosen for the partnership, the grant financially supported the first two years of COC’s First Year Promise program and allowed the college to develop the offerings of its program.

“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,” Eric Harnish, COC’s vice president of public information, advocacy and external relations told The Signal in March 2017. “We estimate that student that participates will save about $1,500.”

COC’s program also gave selected students digital textbooks, ongoing counseling and support, $100 supplies vouchers each semester,  free parking and/or bus passes, free printing abilities, priority registration and orientation sessions.

Students selected for the program are required to maintain 12 units, enroll in the spring and keep a minimum 2.5 GPA. They also must enroll in courses, like counseling, math, English and freshman seminar, with other First Year Promise students in the summer and fall.

In its first year, the program benefited nearly 200 first-year, full-time students at COC.

“It has impacted my life a lot,” said Itziely Beltran, a graduate of Valencia High School and a COC First Year Promise student. “I was worried I wasn’t going to take the classes I needed or that I would fall behind. The guidance has been very helpful; I think that’s one of the biggest things for the First Year Promise is the guidance.”

Following the success of the program, California is hoping to extend the College Promise initiative to all 114 community colleges in the state.

With the passage with Assembly Bill 19 or the California College Promise last year, the program will now extend to all first-year, full-time students at community colleges in the state.

The law requires community colleges to waive students’ fire-year tuition fees as long as they are enrolled in 12 or more semester units.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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