Pace Promise – SMUSD Scholarships

Building a community vision for higher education

(source) Since 2009, the PACE Promise has become a cornerstone in the San Marcos Unified School District, supporting over 370 students in pursuing a college education by providing guaranteed admission to California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) and a $4,000 scholarship. Over the past six years, student data has illustrated PACE Scholars are more likely to graduate when compared to the average student. The emphasis on college readiness and completion of A-G coursework through the PACE Promise is the engine that has driven our students to achieve greatness.

Although the PACE Promise has made a profound impact on the attainment of college degrees for SMUSD graduates, we are now poised to build on that success. In 2014, 35% of our graduates enrolled in a four-year university, 36% enrolled in a two-year community college and 28% of graduates chose an alternative educational setting such as the armed forces or went directly into the workforce. The current PACE Promise scholarship is providing financial support to only 6% of graduating students who choose to attend CSUSM. These figures illustrate a critical need to take action and build a community vision for higher education that will support EVERY student in the San Marcos Unified School District by providing greater opportunities and financial support for students who decide to attend community college, vocational and technical schools, or a university other than CSUSM.

As a result, The San Marcos Promise, a 501(c)3 organization based in San Marcos, CA, will take on the challenge of developing programs and leveraging financial support to make these options a reality. The challenges of today are uniquely different than yesterday, and we at The San Marcos Promise are able to dream big dreams for our region, our city, our neighborhoods, our schools, our families, and our children. We ask that you make a personal commitment to ensure that every student has greater opportunities and financial support upon graduation.


When: Friday, January 23, 2015 @ 6:00pm
Where: San Marcos High School Theater – 1615 San Marcos Blvd, San Marcos, CA 92078
** Spanish translator will be available that night for our Spanish speaking community. **

We invite you to participate in our upcoming Town Hall Forum. Union Tribune Reporter, Logan Jenkins will serve as the moderator and facilitate the discussion. The forum will include a presentation summarizing the impact of the PACE Promise since 2009 followed by a panel discussion including:

  • Mayor Jim Desmond
  • Superintendent Dr. Kevin Holt
  • Vice Chair Rick Gittings
  • Board Member Randy Walton
  • Current PACE Scholar, Alex Contreras

As the conversation ensues, we invite the audience to participate and freely share thoughts that will add to the dialogue. Your participation in this event is instrumental to forming a strong strategic plan that reflects the needs of our community.

Questions? Contact Herbie Smith – [email protected]


Scholarships for SM grads? Promise? • Jan 17, 2105 • By Logan Jenkins