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The new Woodland College Promise program benefited multiple local high school graduates in its first year, marking a successful start to the community partnership designed to support higher education access and equity.
The program, a partnership between the City of Woodland and Woodland Community College (WCC), provides financial resources to help Woodland students who might otherwise be unable to afford a college education. The Woodland College Promise program has two components: a fee-waiver program called Woodland College Promise and a scholarship program called the Woodland Stars Scholarship. Woodland College Promise covers up to two years of community college fees for eligible students who live in Woodland and graduated from a local high school. Eligible students must be full-time WCC students with a completed Student Educational Plan.
Thirty-four students applied for the Woodland College Promise portion of the program in its first year, of which nineteen were eligible and awarded. All nineteen of these qualifying students enrolled at WCC and represent a diverse and motivated cohort: 63% of awardees identify as female, 84% identify as Latino, and 94% intend to complete their transfer requirements at WCC and pursue a Bachelor’s degree.
“Investing in our young people is a top priority for the City of Woodland,” says Mayor Tom Stallard. “Woodland College Promise demonstrates our commitment to supporting local students’ success and we are thrilled that so many folks took advantage in the program’s first year. We are especially pleased to be partnering with Woodland Community College, which is such an important local asset.”
“We are excited to welcome our high school graduates to Woodland Community College,” adds WCC Vice President of Student Services Adela Esquivel-Swinson. “We have been working with our entire academic and student support program staff to build a cohort model that will help students build a sense of community as they navigate their first year of college and ensure that they have the resources available to meet the program requirements and be successful.”
The points-based Woodland Stars Scholarship, the second piece of the new program, will award up to an additional $1,000 a year to students benefiting from the Woodland College Promise program. Woodland Stars applicants will be assigned points based on their demonstrated civic engagement or volunteerism, their academic performance, their Student Educational Plan, and their time spent with applied internships associated with their studies. Scholarships can be used toward supplemental materials such as textbooks and represent an additional tool to fuel educational access at WCC regardless of students’ financial means.
The City worked closely with Woodland Community College on the initial two years of the program with mutual hopes to extend it in the future. The City allocated $100,000 of uncommitted Measure J funds and will work with WCC to continuously evaluate program results. City funding will cover “last dollar” expenses, filling the gap for students who have exhausted all other funding resources.
Students interested in learning more can visit Promise Programs - Woodland Community College (yccd.edu) or stop by WCC campus in Woodland. To apply for a future cohort, students should complete a standard FAFSA or Dream Act application as well as a WCC admissions application prior to applying to the Woodland College Promise program. You can visit Promise Programs - Woodland Community College (yccd.edu) for more information.
Questions? Contact City Communications Manager & Policy Analyst Spencer Bowen at firstname.lastname@example.org