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A Deep Dive Into the College Promise

An extensive report from the College Futures Foundation describes The Long Beach College Promise initiative as a national model.  The Promise initiative extends the promise of a college education to every student in the Long Beach Unified School District, backed by specific support and guidance for students and families.  Partnering organizations include Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach City College and the City of Long Beach.

“Ultimately, partnership initiatives like ones in Long Beach may very well demonstrate to leaders, practitioners, government agencies and private-sector supporters in the field of education and beyond how effective regional collaborations can meet both the educational and economic needs of communities across the nation,” states the 100-page report, which is presented in two parts.

Part one of the report by Robert Gabriner, Rose Asera and David Hemphill is titled “What Makes Partnerships Work” and details the Long Beach initiative and an Inland Empire collaboration, delving into five common themes:

1. A partnership’s leadership needs to be informed by clear moral imperatives.

2. Leaders must understand how change processes work within specific institutions and partnerships.

3. Leaders must be able to engage a variety of stakeholders and build long-term relationships and coalitions among them.

4. Evidence and data are vital components for both making the case for the partnership to stakeholders and informing the partnership’s strategic directions.

5. Partnership leaders have to understand how reforms and improvements fit together to enhance organizational coherence for the stakeholders and the students who must navigate through multiple institutions.

Part two of the report, “Starting and Sustaining Educational Partnerships: Two Case Studies of Intersegmental Innovation in California,” provides full, detailed case studies of the Long Beach and Inland Empire initiatives.

The Long Beach partnership “has a history of more than 20 years, and it is well known regionally, statewide and nationally for its impact on student success,” the report states.  “Although the Long Beach partnership story has been told many times, this case study focused on understanding the life cycle of the partnership and how it has changed over time.”

Established in 2005 via the sale of a nonprofit student loan company, College Futures Foundation awards nearly $20 million in grants annually and has an endowment of nearly  $500 million.  Find the full report under Insights & News at collegefutures.org.

Learn more about The Long Beach College Promise at longbeachcollegepromise.org.