ACD, UTSA announce Promise-to-Promise partnership
November 9, 2022
Partnership will provide tuition-free education for eligible students at both institutions
The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the Alamo Colleges District (ACD) have announced an expanded transfer agreement that, for the first time, will allow eligible students to start at any of the five Alamo Colleges and then transfer to UTSA to complete a four-year degree while having educational costs covered at both institutions. The Promise-to-Promise partnership enables Alamo Colleges students in the AlamoPROMISE program to transfer to UTSA and have their tuition and fees covered for up to two academic years through the UTSA Bold Promise program.
AlamoPROMISE is a program that covers the full cost of tuition and required fees for new graduates from 47 participating high schools seeking an academic certificate or associate degree at one of the five Alamo Colleges. UTSA’s Bold Promise program covers the full cost of tuition and fees for qualifying incoming undergraduates.
“The Promise-to-Promise partnership exemplifies what it means for higher education institutions to prioritize student success, creating pathways of accessibility so that students from all backgrounds can succeed,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “We’re so grateful for our partnership with Alamo Colleges District and look forward to working together to educate and graduate even more students to develop a stronger workforce for San Antonio.”
The Promise-to-Promise partnership is just one component of a strategy developed by UTSA and ACD to provide students a more seamless transfer pathway between the two institutions.
Another strategy is Dual Admission and Enrollment, which streamlines operations for all students who intend to transfer from one of the Alamo Colleges to UTSA through the expansion of two existing dual admission and enrollment programs that facilitate students’ transition from any of the Alamo Colleges to UTSA: Alamo Runners and Transitioning Roadrunners at Alamo Colleges (On-TRAC). Nearly 500 students have already benefitted from the Alamo Runners and On-TRAC programs.
UTSA transfer student Nia Houston is among the first group of students in the Promise-to-Promise program, which is being piloted this fall and will be available broadly to eligible students admitted to UTSA for Fall 2023.
Houston thought she was going to have to work full time to pay for her college tuition. She also anticipated taking out student loans. With the Promise-to-Promise program, her financial worries were eliminated and, today, the UTSA undergrad is fully focused on succeeding in her classes.
A 2020 graduate of Wagner High School, Houston began her college career at ACD during the pandemic. The AlamoPROMISE program there covered her tuition. She earned her associate degree in 2021 and transferred to UTSA to complete a degree in business marketing. She will graduate from UTSA in the summer of 2023, completely debt-free. In her own words, she “hit the jackpot twice.”
"Financial challenges should never stand in the way of attaining a higher education,” said Mike Flores, chancellor of the Alamo Colleges District. “I have no doubt that this partnership will be transformational for countless of our AlamoPROMISE students as they continue on the path of higher education. Through this partnership, we are not only making education tuition-free, but we are continuing to guide our students to success so they can prosper with high-wage, high-demand jobs.”
About 75% of Alamo Colleges students transfer to four-year universities to complete their degrees. The majority of those who transfer enroll at UTSA. On average, the first-year retention rate for UTSA transfer students from the Alamo Colleges is 85% and the average time to graduation is 2.7 years.
Together, the new Promise-to-Promise partnership strengthens the collaborative student support system across the partnering institutions and will ultimately help thousands of students save money and reduce the time it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree.
The 2022 expanded transfer agreement between UTSA and ACD builds upon an agreement signed in 2018 that established a formal transfer partnership between the two institutions and created the On-TRAC program. The UTSA Transfer and Transition Student Success Services office was established to work directly with ACD to oversee the On-TRAC program as well as the existing Alamo Runners program that began in 2015 as a result of a Title V collaborative grant from the U.S. Department of Education. UTSA and ACD first established a formal partnership in 2010 with a matriculation agreement. UTSA has an admissions counselor housed on the campuses of San Antonio College and Northwest Vista College. The 2022 expanded transfer agreement adds the Seamless Three Tier Transfer Program and the AlamoPROMISE to UTSA Bold Promise partnership to the institutions’ mutual commitment to its students opting for dual admission.