There Are 300+ College Promise Programs In 44 States And More To Come In 2019
Three years ago, a group of committed leaders set out to launch the nationwide College Promise movement to increase student access and success in America’s community colleges and universities. After 36 months of exponential growth, our College Promise Campaign is grateful for the leadership and support from thousands of educators, business executives, government officials, students, nonprofit directors, and philanthropists whose shared commitments have established more than 300 College Promise programs in 44 states. Elected leaders have also scaled College Promise programs statewide in 23 states, with more on the horizon for 2019. Promise programs have been launched or expanded in large cities, small towns, and in rural and urban areas, spread across every corner of our nation.
This expansion is consistent with our core belief that a high school education is no longer enough to achieve the American dream. We must prepare our youth and adults for the careers of today and tomorrow. We must support the contributions and dignity of all Americans by assisting them to grow their knowledge and skills to enter and remain competitive in our economy. A strong talent pipeline will bolster the success of our nation and ensure sustained prosperity for all.
College Promise programs are designed to support students in completing a college education relevant to the needs of a 21st century workforce, without the burden of unmanageable debt. By 2020, 65% of jobs will require education and training beyond high school. However, only 46% of U.S. adults aged 25-64 currently have a college degree or certificate, leaving the majority of U. S. adults excluded from the ever-changing economy.
In addition to the personal benefits of a college education, there is strong evidence that the positive impacts of a more educated populace generates intergenerational benefits. Every dollar invested in a community college returns three or more dollars to the local economy. Educational attainment leads to lifelong economic benefits, improved financial stability, reduction in poverty rates, savings in intervention and subsidized services, lower mortality rates, and increased community engagement.
While there is still much to be done to advance the growth of comprehensive, high-quality Promise programs across the country, we also reflect on the incredible gains achieved in 2018.
This year, the College Promise Campaign has:
- Celebrated over 300 College Promise programs across the country, from rural programs in Northern Iowa to urban districts such as Baltimore County. We were also excited to see the growth of inclusive adult programs like Tennessee Reconnect and Rediscover Laramie County Community College, and to see the launch of the California College Promise, which waived community college fees for more than 1,000,000 students.
- Launched the first of its kind—the City and County Playbook—to support mayors, county executives, and other locally-elected leaders as they seek to establish or expand Promise programs in their communities.
- Hosted and spoke at over 125 conferences and events across the country to build broad public support for the College Promise movement, including a national webinar hosted with the National Governors Association, featuring Dr. Jill Biden, former Governor Jim Geringer (R-WY), and Governor Phil Murphy (D-NJ), and two town halls in Virginia and Texas focused on removing the barriers to student success facing Veterans and military-connected students.
- Engaged over 5,000,000 supporters via social media, blogs, opinion pieces, and face-to-fact events. Have you joined the movement? If not sign up here!
In 2019, The College Promise Campaign will launch more initiatives designed to increase quality Promise programs. We remain committed to our goal of making a college degree or technical certificate as universal, free, and accessible as a high school diploma has been for a century, and we look forward to another year in this movement with all of you.