Lake Tahoe Community College receives grant to expand, enhance free first-year tuition program | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Lake Tahoe Community College receives grant to expand, enhance free first-year tuition program

Lake Tahoe Community College recently announced it will be expanding its free college program thanks to a grant.

The school is one of only three community colleges in California to receive the grant, according to LTCC.

LTCC’s program — dubbed the Lake Tahoe College Promise — currently provides one free year of tuition for first-time students attending school full time. The program is open to all eligible California residents and Dreamers, and to Nevada residents and Dreamers living in the Tahoe Basin (certain zip codes apply).

The $150,000 grant from the Promise Scholars Program will allow the college to enhance the program by adding free services and increased support to improve student access.

The college plans to replicate Skyline College’s Promise Scholars Program, which it says is considered one of the top “promise programs” in the state. According to LTCC, Skyline’s program was modeled after the City University of New York’s (CUNY) accelerated study in associate programs (ASAP) model. Students in CUNY’s ASAP program have achieved a 28.1 percent two-year graduation rate, and a 53.2 percent three-year graduation rate since launching in 2007. As a comparison, the national two-year graduation rate in 2018 was 13 percent and the three-year rate was 22 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

“First-time college students are some of our most motivated and committed students,” LTCC Superintendent/President Jeff DeFranco said in a press release. “They want to be full time, and they come here intending to earn a degree. Still, they have a difficult time completing in a timely fashion. This grant and the program we’re building at LTCC is not only about creating more access to college for more people, but is also about helping students graduate on time, and with little to no debt.”

LTCC plans to focus on improving the three-year graduation rate, providing a dedicated promise program counselor and coordinator, creating a peer mentoring program, providing ongoing incentives for promise students to encourage continuation of their studies, and the creation of a cohort of promise students who start college as a group, take certain classes together, attend specialized events together, and build relationships based on common interests, according to the college.

“Our Promise students will start benefiting from this grant award as soon as fall 2019, and we’ll continue to add services and support over the next two years,” said DeFranco. “It’s a great time to take advantage of our Promise, and get the peer mentoring, free textbooks, and the group Promise experience that will help you maximize your time and succeed at your studies. ”

Visit http://www.ltcc.edu/promise for information. Call 530-541-4660 x. 211 to schedule an appointment regarding the promise program.