WP got its start in 2014 with a Regional Promise Replication Grant from the Oregon Department of Education. Its goals are to expand opportunities to earn accelerated credit, enhance career-readiness and a college-going culture in Oregon’s schools and communities, and strengthen coordination and collaboration across educational sectors. Most of all, we seek to build each student’s confidence in his or her ability to succeed in college by awarding college credit when a student demonstrates college-level learning as defined by college faculty. This is particularly important for students who have not previously imagined succeeding in college.

Our organizational structure is unique in Oregon. The Willamette Education Service District (WESD) houses WP’s administrative core, and provides extensive human and technical infrastructure to support the delivery of WP courses and connect partnering universities with K-12 school districts throughout our region. This innovative arrangement has allowed WP to scale up in sustainable ways while maintaining the quality of learning and credits awarded.

WP expands access:
  • It gets accelerated credit opportunities into more schools, deploys more teachers and reaches more students.
  • In the schools we serve, underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students are as likely to complete our credits as other students.
  • Because of WP’s innovative Assessment-Based Learning model, almost a dozen rural schools are able to consistently offer accelerated learning for the first time.
WP ensures the quality of credits awarded:
  • WOU faculty have led 20 courses in 10 subject areas
  • WOU faculty work directly with K-12 educators in Professional Learning Communities to bring college rigor to high school classrooms.
  • Alignment to college standards is assured through random cross-scoring of student work.
  • Preliminary HECC analysis found WP students do as well as or better than non–WP students at OSU, WOU and UO.
WP has found the sweet spot of affordable and sustainable:
  • Students pay $30 per year for all the credits they can earn.
  • WP is sustained by ADM fees from K-12 school districts and Student Success and Completion Model funds from HECC.
  • HECC reimbursement for WP credits awarded fully covers the costs of the program.
  • Grants from the state and private funders support innovative enhancement activities.


Willamette Promise Staff

Name Title Agency Email Area of Support
Katie Anderson Accelerated Credit Program Support WESD katie.anderson@wesd.org Application, Payment, Transcripts, Student Questions
Adam Whalen Accelerated Credit Manager WESD adam.whalen@wesd.org Course Questions
Beverly West Project Manager WOU westb@wou.edu Transcripts and Grades at WOU
Cherie Clark Career and College Manager WESD cherie.clark@wesd.org Career and College Advising and Support
Fatima Chacon Martinez Bilingual Community Outreach WESD fatima.martinez@wesd.org Community Outreach
Elena Fink Data Specialist WESD elena.fink@wesd.org Career and College Advising and Support / Essential Skills
Gretchen Brunner Program Coordinator WESD gretchen.brunner@wesd.org Overall Program Questions
Erica Hertzsch Program Coordination Support WESD erica.hertzsch@wesd.org General Questions
Sue Monahan Associate Provost WOU smonahan@wou.edu General WOU Questions


Willamette Promise

503-540-4420 | willamettepromise@wesd.org