More than one hundred Rancho Cordova high school graduates will attend their first year of Folsom Lake College free of charge, thanks to the Folsom Lake College/Rancho Cordova College Promise, an innovative grant program recently launched by Folsom Lake College, the Folsom Lake College Foundation, and the City of Rancho Cordova.
Designed to improve access to higher education and degree completion for Rancho Cordova residents, the “Promise” program encourages local high school seniors to further their education and reach their academic goals. This program, the first of its kind in the region, will provide the first year fee-free for any 2016-17 high school graduate who is a Rancho Cordova resident and enrolls in Folsom Lake College full-time for the fall semester of 2017. Eligible students will receive funding that can be applied toward tuition and fees, textbooks, or transportation.
“By partnering with the Rancho Cordova City Council and supportive local businesses, Folsom Lake College can increase access to postsecondary education, which means a well-educated workforce, and one that will inevitably advance the regional economy,” said Folsom Lake College President Dr. Rachel Rosenthal.
Modeled after the Long Beach and Ventura College Promise programs, studies have identified that similar programs result in improved student performance and degree/certificate achievement rates as compared to non-Promise students. According to Dr. Rachel Rosenthal, “The findings indicate that Promise students stay in school after their first year at double the rate of non-Promise students. They also are more likely to remain in the local community after graduation. This is truly an investment in our community.”
“The FLC/Rancho Cordova College Promise program exemplifies Los Rios Community College District’s commitment to providing high quality public higher education where our students live, as outlined in our 2001 plan, ‘Educating a Region,’ that first planted the seed for the Rancho Cordova Center. We hope to see this unique program flourish and replicated throughout the region,” said Los Rios Chancellor Dr. Brian King.
Folsom Lake College has operated for more than 40 years out of several locations in the area. In October 2015, the first permanent location of the Rancho Cordova Center opened, at the corner of Mather Field Rd./Paseo Dr. and Folsom Blvd., and currently serves as an educational hub for this close knit and diverse community. “Many of our students do not have the financial means to attend college,” said Rancho Cordova Center Dean Brian Robinson. “The new Promise program will help remove some of those economic barriers.”
The Rancho Cordova City Council voted unanimously in support of the program by allocating $100,000 from the Measure H Community Enhancement Fund. “The Promise program is an innovative way to continue making Rancho Cordova a vibrant community that values education, opportunity, and partnerships,” said Rancho Cordova Mayor David Sander. “Rancho Cordova high school seniors have been given a superior opportunity to attend a state-of-the-art college in their hometown and in the midst of potential employers.” The Community Enhancement Fund is funded by Measure H, a ½ cent local sales tax measure that was approved by Rancho Cordova citizens in Nov. 2014 and provides locally-controlled funds for local priorities. The City awarded approximately $1.8 million in community grants for Fiscal Year 2016/2017.
This project will be implemented in partnership with the Folsom Cordova Unified School District and will include a corporate matching program with initial commitments from Safe Credit Union, VSP Global, and Dignity Health.
For more information, please visit Rancho Cordova, CA