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College Promise in California: Strategies, Challenges, and Successes

Date: August 30, 2016
Location: Oakland, CA

The demand for a college-educated workforce and the simultaneous increasing cost of higher education impedes access to higher education for students from low- to middle-income families. College Promise programs can help to address this challenge. These community-based, grass-roots programs address the problem of college affordability by offering higher education funding for students who live in a particular area. Currently, there are a growing number of California College Promise efforts underway and in the planning stages.

Read more about and download the College Promise in California Booklet here

Download the Highlights Summary Document from the event here

WestEd blog on the event written by Mary Rauner

This event convened those who are currently implementing or developing College Promise programs to share their experiences and learn from each other about promising implementation practices. As a result of their participation, attendees:

  • Learned about the current state of College Promise programs nationally and throughout California.
  • Learned how to design, implement, and improve program elements such as financing, student support services, community partnerships, measurement, and public outreach.
  • Connected with and build a community of colleagues across the state who are working on College Promise programs.

For more information please contact Mary Rauner at


August 30, 2016


Oakland, CA

Contact Information
Mary Rauner

College Access (Postsecondary Pathways)


  • Helen Benjamin, Contra Costa Community College
  • Janice Brown, The Kalamazoo Promise
  • Constance Carroll, San Diego Community College
  • Krissy DeAlejandro, Tennessee Achieves
  • Kenneth Ender, Harper College
  • Greg Gillespie, Ventura College
  • Brad Hershbein, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
  • Shannon Hill, Cuesta College Foundation
  • Martha Kanter, College Promise Campaign
  • Sara Lundquist, Santa Ana College
  • Eloy Oakley, Long Beach City College
  • Laura Perna, University of Pennsylvania
  • Mary Rauner, REL West at WestEd
  • Catherine Reidstra, Cuesta College
  • Erik E. Skinner, California Community Colleges
  • Norbert Tan, Ventura College Foundation