published on November 3, 2016 - 9:28 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Educational leaders will launch a program today to promote college as a viable option for the region’s youth.


The Central Valley Promise campaign will be unveiled this morning to an audience of 600 students grades 6-11, elected officials and community leaders at Fresno State’s Save Mart Center.

As part of the program, participating students will attend their first semester at a community college for free. Through the Central Valley Promise app, students and parents can complete tasks such as attending college fairs, visiting college campuses, applying for student aid and regularly meeting with counselors. These “badges” on the app count toward a special reward.

Students from Firebaugh-Las Deltas, Fresno, Kings Canyon, Mendota and Sanger unified school districts are the first to participate in the promise, which will roll out to other school districts in phases. The district are partnering with Fresno City College, Reedley College, West Hills College Coalinga and Fresno State to establish pathways to attend their institutions.

The Central Valley Promise is modeled after promises throughout the state, including cities such as Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland.
In Long Beach, more than 75 percent of seniors have enrolled in college since the introduction of the promise in 2008. The overall graduation rate for students who followed the pathway to California State University, Long Beach is 67 percent in six years.

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