2019-2020 Parent Promise Policy Manual

Dallas County Parent Promise Introduction

2019-2020 Dallas County Parent Promise Policies

Section 1: Overview

Section 2: Program Eligibility

Section 3: Maintaining Eligibility

Section 4: Appeals, Stop Outs, and Reinstatement

Section 5: Application and Initial Funding

Section 6: Funding Renewal

Section 7: Policy Changes

Appendix A: 2019-2020 Participating High Schools

 

Executive Summary

The Dallas County Parent Promise (DCPP) is a transformational effort of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Foundation to reduce the financial burden on Dallas County adults while completing a postsecondary degree or credential. The DCPP is an expansion of and funded by the DCCCD Foundation’s existing LevelUp Scholarship Program. Students at fifteen of the participating DCPP high schools who complete the Dallas County Promise (DCP) Pledge by February 7, 2020 will enable his/her parent or guardian’s eligibility in the DCPP. DCPP Scholars will be paired with and supported by a DCCCD Success Coach, an Academic Advisor, and a Career mentor.

Vision of the Dallas County Parent Promise

The vision of the Dallas County Parent Promise is to create equal access to in-demand career opportunities in Dallas County by removing financial barriers to attaining certificate and degree completion.

Expected Outcomes of the Dallas County Parent Promise

  • Increase the number of working adults in Dallas County with a college degree or certificate by 30 percent;
  • Create a pipeline for middle skilled jobs in Dallas County;
  • Close the opportunity gap for working adults in Dallas County;
  • Remove the barriers to quality education for working adults in Dallas County 

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Section 1: Overview

The DCCCD Foundation’s LevelUp Scholarship provides a “last dollar” scholarship to one parent or guardian of a graduating student from one of the fifteen participating Dallas County Promise (DCP) high schools. DCPP participants must be willing to enroll in a DCCCD academic program which leads to an occupation in an in-demand career field. The DCPP scholarship covers any gap between financial aid awards and the cost of tuition at one of the seven DCCCD colleges for up to 5 years or the completion of a certificate or degree. DCPP scholarships are awarded to scholars attending a DCCCD college who maintain a 2.0 GPA each semester, and whose annual Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is less than $55,000. In addition to the financial aid award, DCPP scholars will be guided by a Success Coach, Academic Advisor, and Career mentor who will help the scholar with deadlines as well as college and community resources.

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Section 2: Program Eligibility

Eligibility is limited to parents and guardians of participating DCP high schools who meet the following criteria:

  1. Eligible participants must be the parent or guardian of a high school student from a DCP participating high schools. The student must be enrolled at a DCP participating high school for the full 2019-2020 school year AND graduate by July 1, 2020. The graduating student must also complete a DCP pledge in order for the parent or guardian to be eligible for DCPP. However, the student is not required to attend a DCP college or university partner after graduation for the parent to retain their DCPP eligibility.
    The 2019-2020 DCP participating High Schools can be found in Appendix A.
  2. Eligible participants must have an annual adjusted gross income of less than $55,000.
  3. Eligible participants must meet the following Promise deadlines:
    • March 6, 2020: Complete the Dallas County Parent Promise Pledge
    • March 6, 2020: Complete DCCCD admissions application
    • March 6, 2020: Submit FAFSA or TASFA with a DCCCD college listed
    • July 31, 2020: Complete DCCCD registration for the fall semester
    *DCPP scholars who do not meet the Dallas County Parent Promise deadlines and choose to still attend a Dallas County Community College will be responsible for all tuition and costs not covered by other scholarships or financial aid.*
  4. Eligible participants must start classes the fall semester after being accepted into DCPP.
    • DCPP scholars must successfully complete 12 credit hours in an academic year.
    • DCPP scholars will have five-years to complete their degree or certificate program before eligibility is exhausted.
    • DCPP scholars may enroll in fall, spring, summer, winter or May terms after enrolling in their initial fall semester.
  5. Eligible participants may already hold a bachelor's degree.
  6. Eligible participants can be former students of any DCCCD institution.
    • If a scholar enters the DCPP program on probation or suspension, all restrictions according to DCCCD policies will still apply. However, if the scholar continues to meet all DCPP program renewal requirements, the DCCCD Foundation will continue to cover their tuitioin.

    In regards to a scholar’s criminal record, eligibility for the Dallas County Parent Promise program is consistent with the eligibility requirements in the federal Title IV programs which includes the Federal Pell Grant program.

Dallas County Parent Promise Scholars:
  • MUST maintain up-to-date contact information in order to receive relevant communications from the Parent Promise Team.
  • May enroll in either college credit courses or workforce training certificate programs through continuing education from an approved list provided by DCPP Administrators.
  • May receive other private scholarship funds (contact College Financial Aid Office for further details).
  • May use DCPP dollars towards the completion of developmental classes.
  • May use DCPP dollars towards a second degree.
  • May enroll in flex or mini-term courses after the completion of their initial fall semester.
  • May begin the program on academic probation or suspension. However, all DCPP scholars must earn a minimum 2.0 GPA each semester to maintain eligibility.
  • May NOT use Promise scholarship towards credit or continuing education courses that are not part of the approved list provided by DCPP Administrators.
  • May NOT use Promise scholarship towards study abroad courses.
  • May NOT purchase textbooks, supplies, or other items with DCPP funds.
  • May NOT use the DCPP award at a non-Promise college or university.
  • May NOT be enrolled in two separate institutions at one time.
  • May NOT transfer the award to another individual.
  • May NOT receive a refund of any unspent Promise dollars in his/her award account.

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Section 3: Maintaining Eligibility

DCPP Scholars must meet the following criteria in order to maintain eligibility:

  • Maintain a GPA of 2.0 or better each semester
  • Successfully complete 12 credit hours in an academic year
  • Complete FAFSA/TASFA each year
  • Register for classes by the assigned Promise deadline their first year in the program

Immediate Ineligibility Criteria

The Dallas County Parent Promise invokes the right to immediately remove a scholar’s eligibility if they fail to adhere to any of the following requirements:

  1. The scholar does not register for classes at DCCCD in two consecutive semesters or successfully complete 12 credit hours or 450 contact hours (continuing education courses only) per academic year during the five years in the program at DCCCD.
  2. The scholar does not re-apply for next academic year's FAFSA/TASFA.
  3. The scholar is suspended or expelled by the campus for violating the DCCCD Student Code of Conduct.
  4. The scholar does not return to DCCCD after attending another institution or be concurrently enrolled in a DCCCD college and another institution, unless submit and receive approval for their dual enrollment request and/or are within one semester of degree completion at DCCCD.
  5.  The scholar's appeal is not approved.
  6. The scholar knowingly falsifies or enters major discrepancies of any information on their DCPP application, admissions application, or FAFSA/TASFA Application.
  7. The scholar fails to accept all financial aid awards for which they are eligible, including Pell and state grants.
  8. The scholar fails to complete a financial aid file and/or verification process, if applicable, by the end of each semester. 

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Section 4: Appeals, Stop-Outs and Reinstatement

Appeals

What is an academic appeal?

An academic appeal is a procedure, which allows a scholar, in certain circumstances, to ask for a review of a decision relating to the academic progress or award. The appeal gives the scholar an opportunity to put their grades into context, explain what went wrong, and that they have a plan for future success.

No one has ever entered college with the goal of being dismissed. Unfortunately, life happens. Perhaps the scholar simply was not quite ready for the challenges of college or maybe they encountered factors outside of their control, i.e.  illness, injury, a family crisis etc. or some other distraction that made college a lower priority than it needed to be. Please review the "extenuating circumstances" guideline for information about submission of an appeal: documents required, acceptable file types, contacts, etc.

If the scholar decides that they have eligible grounds for appeal, they should complete and submit an appeals form. The scholar must ensure that they complete the form completely and submit evidence to support the appeal. All information supplied to the committee is considered confidential and will only be available to committee members.

What happens after an appeal is submitted?

On receipt of the appeal, the Parent Promise Office will check whether the appeal has eligible grounds. If it does, the scholar will receive an email of receipt; if it does not, the scholar will be notified via email and either advised that the appeal cannot be accepted or offered the opportunity to supply more information or evidence within a stated timescale.

Once the appeal has been accepted, the appeal form and documents will be submitted to the Appeals Panel for consideration.

Appeal Decision

The scholar will receive an email notification of the outcome of the panel's consideration of the case within 10 business days of the reviewing of the case. The outcome letter will explain the reasons for the Panel's decision and any conditional or probationary status. If the appeal is successful, you will be expected to raise your GPA and meet required credit hours with the academic year.

The decision of the committee is final. If a scholar is dismissed, it has been determined by the committee that the academic deficiency is such that the student will not be able to reinstate as a Parent Promise Scholar.

Stop-Out

If a scholar experiences any of the following events and anticipates not being able to complete the requirements for that academic year, he/she may submit a Stop Out form with his/her Success Coach: 

  • Serious illness (i.e., cancer diagnosis)
  • Personal accident or injury of a significant nature
  • Bereavement due to the loss of a close family member - a parent, grandparent, guardian, sibling, son, daughter or a close personal friend. Claims relating to extended family members will not normally be accepted.
  • Victim of crime
  • Unforeseen work commitments, not applicable to full-time students
  • Unexpected pregnancy complications
  • Jury Service, only if your attendance is compulsory and cannot be deferred

In addition to checking the reason for the request, the scholar will need to submit supporting documentation from the following list:

  • Doctor's letter or certificate which confirms your illness and clearly identifies that the time period for which you were unwell corresponds to the assessment period in which you are claiming
  • Hospital admission and discharge letter, to confirm your time spent in hospital
  • Death certificate / Order of Service / Funeral Director's Letter
  • Any supporting statements issued by a DCCCD Campus Personnel i.e. Counselor, tutor  must be provided on letterhead paper as a PDF; not a  Word document or come directly from the author's e-mail address.
  • Police report, a crime reference number on its own will not be sufficient
  • A supporting statement from your employer if your circumstances relate to an unexpected increase in workload or unexpected employment circumstances i.e. deployment.  A supporting statement issued by your employer must be provided on letterhead paper as a PDF; not a  Word document or come directly from the author's e-mail address
  • News report to confirm unforeseen transport difficulties

The scholar should also be prepared to provide additional details regarding the reason for the request and/or supporting documents. The request form should be completed in person with a Success Coach who will either approve or deny the request at that time.

View an Example of a Stop-Out Form

Reinstatement

If a scholar is suspended from or becomes ineligible to receive the DCPP scholarship because of a qualifying special circumstance, the scholar may appeal to their DCCCD Promise success coach to consider mitigating circumstances that resulted in his or her loss of eligibility. The appeal must be typed and include supporting documentation regarding the circumstances. The scholar will be notified by the Parent Promise Team within 10 business days after a decision has been made regarding the appeal. The following guidelines will be used to determine approval or denial of DCPP appeals due to extenuating circumstances:

Student Guide: Extenuating Circumstances

Extenuating means "making forgivable." The adjective extenuating is unusual because it's almost always used with the word circumstances; the phrase extenuating circumstances describes the specific reasons that excuse or justify someone's actions.

Examples of Acceptable Claims for Extenuating Circumstances

The following are commonly accepted grounds for extenuation:

  • Serious illness (i.e., cancer diagnosis)
  • Personal accident or injury of a significant nature
  • Bereavement due to the loss of a close family member - a parent, grandparent, guardian, sibling, son, daughter or a close personal friend. Claims relating to extended family members will not normally be accepted.
  • Victim of crime
  • Unforeseen work commitments, not applicable to full-time students
  • Unexpected pregnancy complications
  • Jury Service, only if your attendance is compulsory and cannot be deferred

Examples of Non-Acceptable Claims for Extenuating Circumstances

The following is a non-exhaustive list of commonly rejected claims for Extenuating Circumstances:

  • Minor illness i.e. cold
  • Moving house
  • Family events i.e. weddings and holidays
  • Routine medical appointments
  • Poor time-management
    • Not allowing sufficient time to travel to school to undertake assessments or submit   coursework
    • Not allowing sufficient time to access lab facilities in order to complete assignments
    • Not allowing sufficient time to complete and submit assignments
  • Poor practice i.e. failure to back up work
  • Personal computer or printer problems
  • Financial issues
  • Change of employment, where this was within your control
  • Misreading of assessment due dates
  • Normal exam stress or anxiety experienced during revision or during the assessment period
  • Religious festival, this is not unforeseen and any matters should be discussed inadvance with proper personnel.
  • Medical condition supported only by retrospective evidence (such as a Doctor's note stating that you were seen after the illness)
  • Late enrolment on a course or module, where this was within your control
  • Complaints against staff or in relation or module/course delivery.

Standard of Acceptable Evidence

Examples of acceptable evidence - the list is not exhaustive:

  • Doctor's letter or certificate which confirms your illness and clearly identifies that the time period for which you were unwell corresponds to the assessment period in which you are claiming
  • Hospital admission and discharge letter, to confirm your time spent in hospital
  • Death certificate / Order of Service / Funeral Director's Letter
  • Any supporting statements issued by a DCCCD Campus Personnel i.e. Counselor, tutor  must be provided on letterhead paper as a PDF; not a  Word document or come directly from the author's e-mail address.
  • Police report, a crime reference number on its own will not be sufficient
  • A supporting statement from your employer if your circumstances relate to an unexpected increase in workload or unexpected employment circumstances i.e. deployment.  A supporting statement issued by your employer must be provided on letterhead paper as a PDF; not a  Word document or come directly from the author's e-mail address
  • News report to confirm unforeseen transport difficulties

Evidence which is Not Acceptable

Examples of evidence which is not acceptable:

  • Self-certification of your own circumstances
  • Evidence which is not supplied by an independent party
  • Evidence of a medical condition for which a Doctor did not see or diagnose in person, please see paragraph below for further information relating to on-line medical diagnosis
  • Hospital or Doctor appointment letter / card
  • Medical condition supported by retrospective evidence
  • A letter from a parent, partner, family member or fellow student verifying circumstances where there is no other independent supporting evidence
  • Extracts of numerous emails merged into single documents
  • Evidence in a language other than English
  • Crime reference number without a supplementary police report
  • Screenshots from mobile devices showing restricted information
  • Illegible evidence i.e. faded wording, cropped, missing information, undated, poorly scanned evidence

Important to note:

  • All evidence must be contemporaneous to the assessment period in which you are claiming
  • Evidence to corroborate illness must be provided by a medical practitioner
  • Supporting statements should be provided on letterhead paper as a PDF; not a  Word document or come directly from the author's e-mail address Evidence in support of your claim must be legible and dated, poorly scanned, cropped (missing information), faded evidence will not be accepted.
  • If you don't submit your evidence when you complete your extenuating circumstances appeal form, then you must e-mail your evidence parentpromise@dcccd.edu.
  • If you submit no supporting evidence, your claim will be rejected.
  • If you submit some but not all of your evidence within the required timeframe, then your claim will be considered on the evidence provided.
  • The Parent Promise Committee cannot obtain evidence on your behalf.

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Section 5: Application and Initial Funding

Application

Interested applicants must ensure their graduating high school student has completed the Dallas County Promise Pledge by February 7, 2020. The interested applicant will be able to access the Dallas County Parent Promise pledge link on the Dallas County Parent Promise Website.

Initial Funding

After a DCPP scholar’s eligible state and federal grant aid has been applied, the Dallas County Community College District Foundation pays any remaining tuition balance. Dallas County Parent Promise funding will continue so long as the participant remains in good standing. A participant in good standing may receive funding for up to five years, or until the completion of a DCPP approved associate degree or certificate program, whichever comes first.

All DCPP scholars are eligible to apply for and receive other scholarship funds, which may be subject to donor restrictions.

To receive the initial financial aid award from DCCCD, DCPP scholars must complete the following tasks:

  1. DCPP scholars must register for classes on or before July 31, 2020.
  2. DCPP scholars must identify and declare a program of study before the first academic semester of the scholar's enrollment at DCCCD. DCPP Scholars may select any of these programs of study.
  3. DCPP scholars must meet with their DCCCD Success Coach and academic advisor for pre-advising before registration begins, to select courses that apply toward the scholar's degree and/or certificate plan.

*DCPP scholars will never directly receive funds from Dallas County Promise or the Dallas County Community College District Foundation.

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Section 6: Funding Renewal

Annual Renewal Requirements

In order to renew their scholarship with the Dallas County Parent Promise, scholars must meet the following requirements:

  1. Scholars must successfully complete at least 12 hours over the course of the academic year.
  2. Scholars must enroll in credit, developmental (including ESOL), and/or continuing education courses leading to an approved associates degree or certificate.
  3. Scholars must maintain a 2.0 GPA per semester.
  4. Scholars must renew the FAFSA/TASFA by March 6, 2020.
  5. Scholars must remain enrolled in an eligible and pre-approved DCPP academic program/program of study.

Additional Renewal Considerations

The scholar is responsible for notifying the Dallas County Parent Promise when his/her contact information changes by emailing parentpromise@dcccd.edu including their full legal name and DCCCD student ID in all correspondences.

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Section 7: Policy Changes

Policies may be subject to change without notice. It is a scholar’s responsibility to refer to the policies as posted on the Parent Promise Website for updates and changes to the Promise program. All participants are required to refer to the policy manual of the year in which they entered the DCPP program.

Contact Questions: If you have additional questions that were not covered in this policy document, please email the Parent Promise Team at parentpromise@dcccd.edu.

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Appendix A: 2019-2020 Participating High Schools

  • Cedar Hill ISD
    • Cedar Hill Collegiate HS
    • Cedar Hill HS
  • Dallas ISD
    • David W. Carter HS
    • Emmit J. Conrad HS
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt HS
    • H. Grady Spruce HS
    • James Madison HS
    • Justin F. Kimball HS
    • Lincoln HS
    • L.G. Pinkston HS
    • Moises E. Molina HS
    • North Dallas HS
    • Seagoville HS
    • South Oak Cliff HS
    • Sunset HS
    • Thomas Jefferson HS
    • W.W. Samuell HS
    • Wilmer-Hutchins HS
  • DeSoto ISD
    • DeSoto HS
  • Duncanville ISD
    • Duncanville HS
  • Grand Prairie ISD
    • Grand Prairie HS
    • South Grand Prairie HS
  • Lancaster ISD
    • Lancaster HS

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