L.A. College Promise First Cohort Graduation
On May 29, the L.A. College Promise celebrated its inaugural class of graduates. Hosted at Cal State L.A., the ceremony brought together over 500 family and community members to celebrate 150 graduating students. The program included keynote remarks by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who launched the program in 2016, and by notable education leaders, including LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia, L.A. Community College District Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez, and California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley. While final numbers for the Class of 2019 are still pending, the Promise has been very successful at increasing the direct college enrollment rates of LAUSD graduates.
Since the Promise launched in 2016, the full-time college enrollment rates of LAUSD graduates has increased 56 percent. Each of the nine L.A. Community College District colleges have developed a suite of support services for Promise students, including advising and coaching. As a result, more Promise students are attempting English and math in the first year--a key predictor of future college success. With more Promise students expected to reach completion, the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce announced the Promising Futures Scholarship, which provides two scholarships of $550 to Promise students who go on to transfer to a California State University campus, University of California campus, or a private, non-profit institution in California.
Thanks to the commitment of all the partners, the Promise continues to grow to meet the needs of students. Recent state legislation authored by Asm. Miguel Santiago has enabled the L.A. Community College District to offer a second year of free tuition. Earlier this year, Mayor Garcetti announced his commitment to grow the L.A. College Promise from 5,000 students to 10,000 students by 2022. The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles has also provided summer internships and international experiential learning opportunities for Promise students. And starting next year, Promise scholars will receive DASH bus transit passes and laptops, thanks to a new partnership with the Annenberg Foundation and the Foundation for the L.A. Community Colleges. Together, we are building a City of Graduates!