College Spark E-Newsletter
June 28, 2016
College Spark Washington funds programs across Washington state that help low-income students become college-ready and earn their degrees.
In the News 
Degrees of Change, a Tacoma nonprofit, helps communities and colleges equip students to learn together through college and lead together back home. With support from a $3.4 million grant from College Spark, Degrees of Change will help students in Tacoma, Vancouver, and Yakima.  Read more in The News Tribune Come home to Tacoma, college grads and Tacoma students ready to rise through college.

Community Colleges of Spokane is partnering with five rural school districts in the region on a project to help address gaps in learning for high school students as they prepare for college.  Read more in The Inlander and Education Week.   

Rogers High School in Spokane plans for all juniors to take AP English, reports The Inlander.  By making high-rigor curriculum the default path, Rogers will demonstrate the connection between high school rigor for low-income students and completion of college.  Watch a video produced by local news KREM

Lake Washington Institute of Technology will be improving the student intake process by replacing the traditional high-stakes COMPASS placement test with directed self-placement for English and math. Studies have shown students who self-direct placement are more engaged in their education and outcomes.  Read more in the Kirkland Reporter
Community Grants Program announces 2017 Request for Proposals

The College Spark Washington Community Grants Program is an annual, competitive statewide program focused on building the effectiveness of grantees that have demonstrated experience serving low-income students and generating knowledge related to college readiness in middle school and successful transition to college. 


The Community Grants Program Request for Proposals (RFP) is now available.  All projects that receive Community Grants funding must measure project impact with one or more of the following outcome indicators:

  • Reduce the rate of middle school students who trigger two or more of the three early warning indicators (absences, suspension/expulsion, and course failure)
  • Improve math achievement in middle school, as measured by the rate of students earning a 3 or higher on the SBA
  • Reduce the rate of students who require developmental education (remedial coursework) in college
  • Increase the rate of students who earn their first college-level credits in math and English

Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations and schools that work with middle school, high school, and college students.


To learn more about how to apply, email Rachel Clements to register for the Introduction to Community Grants Program webinar on July 13th at 10:00 A.M.  Giving guidelines, required elements of a project, and how apply will be discussed. 


Since 2005, College Spark has granted more than $45 million throughout Washington state, with $15 million directed to the Community Grants Program.

Bridge to College courses offered in more high schools                        
Bridge to College math and English language arts will be available in more high schools throughout Washington state in the next academic year.  In 2015-16, the courses were being taught by 120 teachers at 114 high schools in 74 districts, with nearly 4,000 students enrolled.  Additional schools will be implementing the courses for the 2016-17 school year.
These courses are for seniors who score below the college-ready level on the Smarter Balanced Assessment in 11th grade.  Students who pass the course will be considered college-ready by many colleges in Washington and permitted to enroll in college-level English and non-STEM math courses without additional placement testing.
Learn more about Bridge to College courses from students and teachers at Shadle Park High School in Spokane. 
Shadle Park Bridges the College Readiness Gap
Shadle Park Bridges the College Readiness Gap

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