San Diego Promise reaches out to 2020 grads

The program has served over 4,000 students in four years

Promise Program meeting on Zoom

Promise coordinator Brenda Torres informs students of the process and benefits of applying for Promise program. YouTube screenshot

The San Diego Promise program, which offers up to two years of free classes for recent high school graduates at any of the San Diego Community College District campuses, held a live virtual information session for students, supervisors, faculty and staff on May 20.

Promise program coordinator Brenda Torres discussed program eligibility, benefits of participating, and steps to applying on the broadcast shared on YouTube. She also answered additional questions students had.

“I cannot emphasize enough that we are here for you, whether you are a student or staff or faculty,” Torres said.

The Promise program is a two-year completion program for recent graduates who plan to enroll in at least 12 units. It was introduced as a pilot program in 2016.

Since that time, 4,360 students have benefited from the program, according to an SDCCD press release.

In order to participate in the program, students must be a spring 2020 high school graduate, a California resident or an AB540 student, and be enrolled full-time. These requirements are not applicable to DSPS students with academic accommodations.

Not only does the program offer up to two years of free tuition, it also covers health fees. Fees such as student parking, student trolley or bus passes and student representation fees are not included. Book grants are also available for eligible students depending on their financial need.

Additional benefits include an assigned peer mentor or success coach, specialized counseling, as well as campus engagement opportunities and workshops.

With the fall semester going fully remote, there will be some minor changes to the program.

“We are providing all of our services online, that was a big change that we did. We used to have face-to-face workshops. Now the majority of our workshops are online,” Torres said. “For students who don’t feel comfortable with Zoom, we do have engagement activities through our Canvas (account).”

The Fall 2020 application is now available and must be submitted by June 11. According to Torres, it may take up two to three weeks for an application to be reviewed and processed.

If students need further guidance on filling out the application, more assistance can be found in this video.

Students who have been accepted into the program will receive an email with an invitation to attend a virtual orientation.

Students can keep up with the program’s activities on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Every Monday, a Q&A session is held on an Instagram story for further questions.

“We just want to make sure that we are communicating with students where they can reach out to us,” Torres said. “We’re here.”

For additional information, visit their website or email [email protected].