Sierra Promise is a partnership between Sierra College and our local district high schools to help students with their transition to college. Sierra Promise helps make students college-ready before they graduate from high school, and helps them start college with an education/career plan and access to financial support.
Who is eligible for Sierra Promise?
All students who attend one of our district partner high schools are initially eligible. Once a student completes an application for admission to the college, he/she will receive an invitation in their mySierra account to “Become a Promise Scholar.”
What does it mean to “Become a Promise Scholar?”
Students who commit to Sierra Promise get additional services and support. These include:
- Priority registration for your first semester, an education and career plan, assistance with financial aid/scholarships
- Referrals to support and success programs such as RISE, Guardian Scholars, Puente, EOPS, etc.
- Referrals to additional career and academic resources
- Workshops and events to help with registration and orientation
- Complete the FAFSA or Dream application
- Participate in registration and orientation events sponsored by Sierra Promise
- Enroll in 30 or more units within your first year (summer, fall, spring)
Do Promise Scholars also get their tuition paid for?
Probably! If you complete your end of the Sierra Promise commitment and are a California resident, you will be eligible to have your first year of tuition covered through either the California College Promise Grant (need-based) or the AB19 State Promise Grant (non-need-based).
Can you tell me more about the commitment to enroll in 30 or more units within my first year?
First, the majority of our high school seniors graduate in June, so we define the first year as summer, fall, spring.
Second, there’s a ton of research and data that shows that students who complete 30 units within that first year are more likely to:
- Spend less in tuition and other school expenses
- Borrow less in student loans so they have less education debt
- Be potentially eligible for more grants and scholarships
- Complete their goal
- Complete their goal faster
- Hit the job market sooner to earn money
What do Enrollment Specialists do?
Enrollment specialists visit all our district high schools regularly throughout the Fall and Spring semesters to provide assistance with the following:
- Applications for admissions, financial aid, and support programs
- Career exploration
- Registration support
- Connect students to their Transitions Counselor
- Connect students to additional programs and services
A Transitions Counselor is usually already a full-time high school counselor who has been trained to be a part-time Sierra College counselor as well. They have hours at the high school sites to meet with students to discuss career goals and academic interest areas in order to plan the first three semesters of classes for each student.
What is Sierra Promise Plus?
Sierra Promise aims to connect all Promise students to programs and services that can help them once they start their first semester. There are a few programs we work especially close with to identify and connect historically underrepresented students.
How does Sierra Promise benefit the community?
Several ways! Having the Enrollment Specialists and Transitions Counselors available in the high schools creates more access for students to college information and resources. It also allows Enrollment Specialists to have more access to students who may not be thinking of college and gives us the chance to inform them about First Year Free, academic and financial support, transfer opportunities, and short-term programs to start a career. All of which contributes to a better-educated and better paid local workforce.