The San Marcos Promise is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 2014. Our roots, however, span more than a decade:


The San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) and California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) created a program called Partners Advancing College Education Promise (PACE Promise). Under this program, SMUSD students are guaranteed admission to CSUSM as long as they meet the admission requirements.


The Leichtag Foundation committed $6M to support scholarships for students who meet PACE Promise benchmarks with a focus on helping first-generation college students.


In order to expand the PACE Promise and create more programs to support students, The San Marcos Promise was established. Today we still administer the PACE Promise, along with several other scholarships and programs. Learn more about how we can help.


In addition to providing scholarships to support students pursuing higher education, The San Marcos Promise (TSMP) is sharpening its focus on 21st Century work skills and workforce development. TSMP is the link between the business community, the civic and non-profit community, and our schools. We provide real-world experiences and opportunities, in and out of the classroom, for our students.

Since its inception, The San Marcos Promise (TSMP) has strived to open doors for students by helping them discover their strengths and interests, helping them find viable post-high school pathways to pursue those interests, and then showing them the way. If that pathway included Cal State San Marcos or Palomar College, qualified students received tuition assistance from the Promise by way of a small scholarship.

What we found…

After researching the efficacy of the tuition assistance provided under the Promise, and the belief that the money could be better used creating and bolstering the existing Promise programs, including the development of the Future Centers, the Board of Directors decided to discontinue the tuition-assistance component of the program beginning in 2020.  The Board concluded that by redirecting Promise funds into existing programs it will allow TSMP to bolster those programs, create new programs, and will ultimately allow the Promise to provide meaningful services to a greater number of students.


It is the mission of The San Marcos Promise to help prepare and empower students for the 21st Century workforce by providing them the resources and knowledge they need to build a successful career and satisfying life path. We believe that every student should choose a pathway that is paved by their strengths, interests, and talents. The San Marcos Promise endeavors to help students identify those strengths, interests, and talents by exposing them to many career opportunities, and encouraging them to choose, with intention, a viable post-high school pathway that can lead to a successful career and a satisfying life. We realize that this work must begin much earlier than high school. The LEAP Program for elementary students is just one example of one of our new programs aimed at younger students.