Alameda Promise Project

The College of Alameda Promise

The College of Alameda (COA) Promise creates a unique pathway for Alameda high school graduates to access a quality college education. Through a unique partnership between students, the College of Alameda, Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), the City of Alameda and private partners, eligible students will receive one year (24 units) of courses without fees. The COA Promise will also provide these students with intensive academic support and college transfer assistance.

The College of Alameda Promise aims to:

  • Lessen the economic barriers to a college education for high school seniors graduating from Alameda high schools
  • Increase the percentage of high school graduates entering college in the city of Alameda
  • Strengthen students’ access to career pathways and preparation to join the workforce in Alameda and surrounding areas
  • Deepen the connection between College of Alameda and its home community

To participate in the Promise, graduating students will be required to enroll full-time at College of Alameda, and:

  • Sign a mutual responsibility contract
  • Maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Complete 2 counseling appointments each semester
  • Take a prescribed set of courses in English, math, College Success, and general education


This pilot program will implemented in stages, starting in 2016 with West Alameda students who graduate from Encinal High School, Island High School or Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI). Eventually, it will include all City of Alameda high school graduates who meet the criteria.


Since the early 2000’s, community colleges in California and across the country have started “Promise” programs like this. These programs have demonstrated significant benefits in the lives of students and their communities. These benefits include:

  • More students enrolling in college
  • More students remaining in college from year 1 to 2, improving their chance of successful graduation and transfer

Greater likelihood that students will enroll full-time, which leads to improved retention and accelerates their degree or certificate completion

  • Higher rates of successful graduation and transfer, particularly among Latino and African American students

The College of Alameda Promise is also aligned with President Obama’s America’s College Promise plan announced in January 2015 and with the College Promise Campaign formed in September 2015. These programs share the broader vision of making the first two years of higher education free for all students who enter community college, work hard, and earn their certificates and degrees.

“In the 21st century, a high school diploma is no longer enough to lead Americans to a good job and decent quality of life.”     – College Promise Campaign, September 2015

 “Californians with a college degree will earn $1,340,000 more than their peers with only a high school diploma. Students who earn a degree or certificate from a California community college nearly double their earnings within three years.” – California Community Colleges Key Facts, 2013