CPC Celebrates First Anniversary
The College Promise Campaign celebrated its first anniversary today and announced details on the remarkable growth of College Promise programs throughout the nation. The number of state and local programs that provide free community college tuition for hardworking students has grown to more than 150 in 37 states.
“A year ago today we launched a bold initiative to make a community college education as universal and free as high school was in the 20th century,” said Dr. Martha J. Kanter, the Executive Director of the College Promise Campaign. “There is undeniable momentum for the College Promise movement. We are confident that the rapid growth we’ve seen in the first year is just the beginning.”
On September 9, 2015, President Barack Obama joined the College Promise National Advisory Board at Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan to launch the nonpartisan campaign. The initiative encourages states and localities to launch College Promise programs that enable students to start and complete a community college education without taking on mountains of debt. And today, Ajita Talwalker Menon, Special Assistant to the President for Higher Education, remarked on the progress of the College Promise movement.
“We know that this is working,” said Talwalker Menon. “From communities in Tennessee to Michigan we’ve actually been seeing that free community college programs have helped students earn better grades, graduate high school, access more financial aid, and be more likely to actually complete college,” she said.
Higher education community leaders also remarked on the rapid growth of the movement.
“In our first year, we have seen tremendous growth in not only the number of College Promise programs but in the interest in them,” said J. Noah Brown, President and CEO of the Association of Community College Trustees and a member of the College Promise National Advisory Board. “People have taken to heart that this in not a one size fits all enterprise. They are many ways to build College Promise programs and many different partners that could be brought to bear he said.
The Campaign announced the relaunch HeadsUpAmerica.us, where supporters join the movement for free community college. We also announced the upcoming launch of the College Promise Campaign site, which will include a map featuring every College Promise program across the country and the latest research from the College Promise movement.
You can find the Campaign’s Anniversary blog post, “A Year of Promise,” here and a recording of the press call here.