The News Site of Fresno City College

District Gets $1.5 Million for Central Valley Promise

February 21, 2017

The Central Valley Promise program received a $1.5 million grant to jumpstart its pledge of making the first semester of college free to incoming high school students, Lucy Ruiz, spokeswoman for the State Center Community College District, announced on Feb. 15.

The district will use the grant, awarded by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, to launch the program.

The Central Valley Promise, announced in 2016, aims to create a change in college attendance by high school students by removing the barriers teens face when they graduate from high school.

In addition to making the first semester of college free for students who maintain good grades, the program will provide supportive services and informational outreach to students, using technology like phone apps.

Although the Central Valley Promise is fashioned after similar national programs, Ruiz says it is unique because it encompasses a university, (Fresno State), two community college districts (SCCCD and West Hills) and several unified school districts (Fresno, Kings Canyon, Sanger, Firebaugh-Las Deltas and Mendota).

The Fresno County Office of Education and the Central Valley Community Foundation are also partners of this initiative.

Paul Parnell, Chancellor of the SCCCD, said the grant is evidence of the strong partnerships between the community and its schools.

“This grant will act as a springboard for change in the Central Valley,” he said. “[It will] help eradicate unemployment within the region we serve.”

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