Prospective Evaluation of the Oakland Promise Kindergarten to College (K2C) Program

Kindergarten to College (K2C) initiative is a component of Oakland Promise’s cradle to career approach. K2C aims to lay the foundations for a college-going identity early, by instilling a college-bound mindset in all kindergarten students and their families. The program provides Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) kindergarten students with an early college scholarship and supports parents to set up a 529 CSA for their child, with initial seed money. OP also provides a K2C curriculum comprised of college-going lessons and activities as well as technical assistance and related resources to promote a strong college-going culture in classrooms and throughout the school. In conjunction, OUSD elementary schools form K2C teams involving teachers, principals, and parents; organize college-going activities, such as field trips to local colleges and exploring career options; and provide financial education integrated into the school curriculum.

K2C activities are designed, in the short-term, to create a college-going culture in every participating elementary school, and particularly, in students and their parents. In the mid-term, the initiative aims to grow parents’ confidence in their ability to financially contribute to their child’s post-secondary education, and to help families to financially prepare for college. Additionally, students’ academic achievement is expected to be on track and attendance improved.

NORC is conducting an evaluation of this program using a longitudinal quasi-experimental design, following kindergartners in the 2017-2018 school year until the end of their 3rd grade year (2020-2021 school year). The primary comparison will be between 2017-2018 kindergarteners enrolled in the 18 schools who began K2C in the 2016-2017 school year versus kindergartners enrolled in 18 schools without K2C, using matching techniques. Short- and mid-term outcomes will be assessed through surveys and secondary data analyses on existing student-level data.

Project Staff


Eileen Graf
Research Scientist
graf-eileen@norc.org