- In 2011 the California State University (CSU) system’s overall four-year graduation rate was 16
percent, which is far below the national rate of 26 percent among similar institutions. In
response to the low graduation rate, the California legislature passed 2 statutory bills meant to
further expand access, while improving college readiness and graduation rates at the same time.
Considering these goals, this paper seeks to establish whether the California Promise Programs
are contributing to student success and more diverse institutions. Central to this research are the
Promise programs run by the two divisions of the California Public Postsecondary Education: (i)
the California Community Colleges Promise program (CCC) spawned by Assembly Bill 19 -
under the administration of the President and Board of Governors of the California Community
Colleges; and (ii) the California State University (CSU) Promise program SB 412 - administered
by the Trustees of the California State University. For each program, the paper shall examine the
Legislative intent for initiating the program, the legal framework and provisions of the statute,
specified guidelines for host campuses, student eligibility guidelines, conditions for student
continued participation in the program, appropriations and a summary description of any
significant commonalities and differences in the implementation of the two programs.