College Promise Campaign Launches Nationwide

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The push for affordable college and job training received a big boost from President Obama with his recent announcement of a new, independent initiative, the College Promise Campaign. The Campaign will highlight the need to make community college more accessible and affordable and, in coordination with the administration’s plans, encourage states and communities to take action to achieve that goal. Supporters are urged to join in a national public awareness campaign called Heads Up America.

The Campaign’s National Advisory Board includes Carnegie Corporation of New York Vice President LaVerne Evans Srinivasan, Vice President of the National Program, and Program Director of Education. She notes the need to better prepare young adults, commenting, “We need to make sure community colleges give students the preparation they need for further education and careers in a changing economy. By helping states make progress on these issues, the College Promise Campaign is taking our country in the right direction."

The Campaign is a three-year plan to build public support for investing in community colleges and universities, and for funding tuition and fees for the first two years of a college education for students who maintain good grades and are serious about earning a degree or credential. The ultimate goal is to make debt-free community college a reality for all American students.

The Campaign will be working with states to promote college access and completion through a range of proven measures, including guided pathways, dual enrollment, mentoring, coaching, cohort models, accelerated programs, counseling, tuition support, and tested student and institutional performance-based incentives.

The Corporation recognizes the importance of college access and completion for all students in the 21st century and has therefore provided an 18-month grant of $200,000 to support this work. Other early funders include the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Kisco Foundation, and JP Morgan Chase.