Alameda Promise Program Off to Remarkable Start

Published October 10th, 2017 in College News

Under the program, graduates of Alameda high schools receive free tuition at College of Alameda (COA), along with a book stipend, intensive academic support, college transfer assistance, and priority registration. In the fall of 2016, just ten students had enrolled in the program. In the fall of 2017, 84 students enrolled. Most of these students are recent graduates from Encinal Junior & Senior High School and Alameda High School and are now enrolled full-time at College of Alameda.

Goals of the program include: increasing the percentage of high school graduates in the city of Alameda entering college; strengthening students’ access to career pathways; and deepening the connection between College of Alameda and its island community.

 “A College-Going Culture”

 College Promise initiatives like those in Alameda are part of a growing national movement to support college access and completion, especially for low- to middle-income students. The hope is that these will create a “college-going culture” in their communities and strengthen local economies.


The rapid growth of the Alameda Promise Program has been attributed to the efforts of the College’s Outreach Department staff working closely with Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) to connect with prospective students.


“There is great excitement at the College regarding the exponential increase in Alameda Promise students this year,” said College of Alameda President Dr. Timothy Karas. “The Alameda Unified School District has provided tremendous support, and our Mobile CoA outreach staff has made fabulous strides in effectively disseminating application information to eligible local high school students.”


According to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, a growing body of research suggests that students who participate in Promise programs are more likely to enroll full-time in college, complete more credits, and receive a degree than their non-Promise classmates.

Opportunities for All

 All AUSD seniors receive letters about the offer, as well as instructions on how to participate, in the spring. More information is also available on the College of Alameda website.


“The Alameda Promise provides opportunities for our students who may not otherwise be able to afford college,” said AUSD Superintendent Dr. Sean McPhetridge. “It’s a great program for our students and our community. We’re very grateful for this partnership with COA.”


Alameda Promise students must enroll full-time at College of Alameda, sign a mutual responsibility contract, maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher, and take a prescribed set of academic courses, including English, Math, College Success, and general education.


The Alameda Promise program was founded in 2016 after the College of Alameda received an anonymous $500,000 seed gift establishing a Promise Legacy fund. The long-term funding strategy for the program includes building this endowment while simultaneously raising the annual program costs required each year.


Tax-deductible donations to the Alameda Promise can be made online to the Peralta Colleges Foundation by designating College of Alameda.  Donations also may be made through checks with “College of Alameda Promise” printed in the memo section and mailed to: The Peralta Colleges Foundation, 333 East 8th St., Oakland, CA 94606.


For more information about the Alameda Promise, contact Toni R. Cook, Dean, Special Programs and Grants, at (510) 748-2135 or Amy H. Lee, Ed.D., Dean, Enrollment Services, (510) 748-2288. Application information is available online at



About College of Alameda

College of Alameda (CoA) is a small, friendly community college noted for the excellence of its academic, vocational, and student support programs. Situated on a beautiful park-like campus on the island city of Alameda, the College offers the quiet of a suburban setting, just minutes from downtown Oakland. CoA offers academic programs that transfer to four-year universities and workforce training programs in a variety of career areas. Students of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to enroll. College of Alameda is fully accredited by ACCJC/WASC and is one of four colleges in the Peralta Community College District (PCCD).


About the Alameda Unified School District

Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) serves about 9500 students in Alameda, California, an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area.  For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at


Category: College News