King County Promise FAQs


Please Note:  These FAQs about the King County Promise model were developed from questions raised by stakeholders during PSCCN Info Sessions held in Summer and Fall 2021.

For additional information about the King County Promise model and the long-term vision, please connect with PSCCN -

For all official information about the Phase 1 King County Promise RFP process, please visit the DCHS Contracts Page. Under the Open Funding Opportunities table, find and click on the King County Promise Partnerships link.

Questions and official answers about the RFP process will be posted online at the link above. Once open, scroll to expand information listed as RFP Questions.


What could a KCP partnership look like?

PSCCN has used community feedback to come up with King County Promise’s core change ideas that represent what currently exists across the region: provide racial equity, student and best practice informed enhanced postsecondary advising, transition & navigation supports, foster cross-system improvement & alignment, and ensure sustainable implementation of the strategies implemented over the span of the program. Some core elements of King County Promise, such as maintaining student-to-counselor advising ratios and providing the equity stipend for CTCs, represent parts of the program model that partnerships of different sizes and approaches will collaborate to implement. These core ideas build on existing work across the region, so K12, CBO and CTC organizations can, and should, identify partners to create or deepen collaborations with to adapt these change ideas to their students. King County Promise partnerships will also bring their own best practices to be shared across the region informing the KCP program model in an ongoing way. 

When we talk about system change at what level are we talking about?

System change encompasses all organizations working in the postsecondary pipeline, including those working with Opportunity Youth, and King County Promise will ensure partners identify, address and eliminate barriers to students postsecondary credentials. An example is the impact of enrollment and placement policies of community and technical colleges (CTCs), increasing placement in pre-college courses on high school graduates seeking to enter those institutions (See this recently released report for more information).

How is anti-racism built into the structure of KCP? 

King County Promise has integrated racial equity into the KCP model and approach through developing a shared vision to identify and address racial inequities seen in student attainment data, staff and leader feedback, and embedded into systems (as seen in this report ). As implemented, King County Promise will also engage partners to co- develop a high quality postsecondary focused, equity grounded curriculum. Finally, the strategies undertaken by KCP partnerships and the continuous improvement process are embedded with racial equity, using strategies designed to target systems that historically have limited college access for traditionally marginalized groups. 

Eligible Students 

How is KCP inclusive of students who do a gap year or postpone enrollment? 

Promise partners have ownership on deciding how to include these students. PSCCN encourages partners to articulate how they intend to support these students to obtain their postsecondary credentials  through targeted Opportunity Youth supports and High School Partnerships.

When students matriculate into grant-funded programs, what are the thoughts about them being partners in this work?

The King County Promise Youth Advisory Board, composed of Promise students, will give regular feedback to Promise partners. King County Promise partnerships will be supported in identifying students to serve on the Youth Advisory Board, and incorporating student feedback and guidance.

Could partnerships only work within a certain population in the PSTAA priority population? 

Right now PSTAA funding is specific to the prioritized populations, students furthest from educational justice. Working with a specific group is up to you, and having data that supports why you are targeting that group is helpful. However, with the goal of being able to serve as many young people in the PSTAA priority population, the more diverse the group you can serve, the better. 

What would a student need to do to be part of this grant?

Promise students sign a Promise Pledge, which signals enrollment in the program. They are eligible if they are part of a prioritized population and if they are associated with a partner institution (K-12 district, CBO, or CTC). 

How will the program serve undocumented and immigrant students?

PSCCN will support partners in building capacity towards continuous improvement to design and implement best practices. However, we recognize that organizations already have knowledge about how to best serve undocumented and immigrant students. Pilot phase activities will include working with partners to determine what best practices exist for serving the different groups of students in the prioritized populations. 


How can CBOs support through the entire postsecondary pipeline?

This depends on the CBO and the population they typically serve. They certainly are, and can be involved at the postsecondary level, but they are not required to. 


How does Guided Pathways work at CTCs inform KCP? 

King County Promise provides ownership to CTC’s to identify how to ensure Promise students receive high quality case management support that integrates existing programming such as Guided Pathways and other similar programs and best practices.

CTC leadership is instrumental when thinking about system change, so how can we involve faculty?

There isn’t a prescriptive way KCP suggests working with faculty, but partnerships are encouraged to consider this in thinking about implementing programming and PSCCN can provide support. 

General Partnership

Do advisors follow from K-12 to postsecondary?

There is no specific rule, or expectation, that states advisors should or should not move with students between institutions. Depending on the student population served and their needs, partnerships can decide how to allocate advising responsibilities within the advising ratios. 

Who are Promise Advisors and what are they responsible for? 

Promise funds each partnership to hire Promise Advisors. Promise Advisors can be newly hired or selected from existing advisors to reach the 1:100 advisor to student ratio for high school and CTC youth and 1:75 for Opportunity Youth. Promise partnerships get to decide how best to build upon existing staff structures.  Promise advisors are responsible for delivering the advising support components to students, as well as any programmatic components that support students as that transition between partner organizations.

Program Model 

Are Promise sites actual physical sites or just a partnership and data & resource-sharing among the various CBOs, K-12 schools, and other stakeholders?

Promise sites are partnerships between participating organizations. There is no requirement or expectation that there will be a physical site, although it’s a possibility if your partnership has the available resources. 

Are there career advising aspects to this program? Are there career discernment/career advising structures that can get students connected with internships, etc.? 

Career advising is encouraged as part of the advising services students receive. The King County Promise advising curriculum will be co-developed by PSCCN and King County Promise partners.

Where did the 1:100 student-advisor ratio come from? 

King County Promise looks to provide high quality student to staff advising ratios for students in high school and CTCs. Current student to advisor ratios in high schools and colleges range from 1:300, to 1:1500. The King County Promise student This number student-advisor ratio is based on programs such as TRIO Student Success Services and Completion Coaching case management models in addition to feedback from community stakeholders during the initial phases of planning. Stakeholders came to PSCCN with their own experience working with students and research in the field about best practices for pre-college and college advising. Many schools in the region successfully driving postsecondary enrollment are focused on staffing advisor levels at 1:100. Like other aspects of the Promise model, the student to advisor ratio will be evaluated and adapted over the span of the program. 

Is the equity stipend for CTC students distributed every year?

The stipend amount is for the entire academic year, and partners will collaborate with PSCCN to figure out the ideal disbursement schedule with the assistance. 

Looking at the different pathways i.e. college transition pathways and then postsecondary pathways are these distinct, are they combined. How do we differentiate the two?

These are distinct services. Students receive transition programming to prepare for college, and then receive advising about career pathways beyond college. 

What is the Promise Pledge?

A common practice in Promise programs across the U.S., the Promise pledge form that is completed as a first step in college promise programs to confirm student/participant eligibility to participate and receive information and support. Promise pledge forms also indicate participant consent for data sharing amongst designated entities such K12 and college partners and intermediary organizations. Through King County Promise, PSCCN  will develop and implement a student/participant pledge form like the one developed by the Dallas County Promise, and include information about program and participation requirements, and identify which entities will receive access to student level data and for which purpose.

What are the Promise milestones? 

Promise milestones include financial aid completion, completion of pre-college advising, enrolling in a postsecondary institution, college course enrollment, and completion of college advising. Other milestones and more specific benchmarks will be decided upon in collaboration with Promise partnerships. 


PSCCN will lead King County Promise partners in a co-development process to cover the outcomes, data measurements and tracking mechanisms central to the King County Promise model. Once developed, PSCCN will work with partners to share and evaluate the data to support individual partnerships and inform future versions of King County Promise.


King County Promise was designed to be funded by public and private sources, and for the strategies and support offered through King County Promise to be sustained beyond the initial funding. King County Council designated $112 million over 18 years through the Puget Sound Taxpayers Accountability Account (PSTAA). Alongside this initial funding source, K12 and CTC funded organizations will raise and match funding, in partnership with PSCCN. Details about PSTAA funding for Phase of King County Promise will be shared by DCHS. Please visit the King County-DCHS PSTAA site to learn more about PSTAA and receive updates.

Last Updated: 5/20/2023