College Spark E-Newsletter

College Spark Washington funds programs across Washington state that help low-income students become college-ready and earn their degrees.

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Philanthropy Northwest Blog interview with College Spark Washington Senior Program Officer Heather Gingerich about Achieving the Dream: Community College Count, an initiative to help more low-income community college students earn their degrees.


College Spark Trustee Trevor Greene reflects on the college-ready work happening at Toppenish High School.

 July 17, 2012
New focus for annual, competitive statewide Community Grants Program


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. Beginning with the upcoming 2012-13 grant cycle, all projects that receive Community Grants funding must measure their impact by using at least one of the outcomes below:

Outcomes that focus on middle school success

  • Increase the number of students who enroll in and pass 8th grade Algebra
  • Reduce the number of middle school students who trigger two or more of three early warning indicators: five or more absences during a single school semester, one or more course failures, a suspension, or expulsion

Outcomes that focus on the successful transition to college

  • Reduce the number of enrollments/placements into developmental education
  • Increase the number of students who pass their first college-level English or math course - either while in high school, after taking developmental education classes, or directly upon entering college
Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations and schools that work with middle, high school, and college students.

Want to learn more about the Community Grants Program?
Between 2005-2012, College Spark Washington awarded more than 100 Community Grants totaling $11 million.

Moving the Needle to Improve Student Success: A new publication describes Achieving the Dream in Washington 


College Spark Washington recently released Moving the Needle to Improve Student Success, a publication that highlights the outstanding efforts of four Washington community and technical colleges participating in the Washington Achieving the Dream initiative.


The guiding principle of Achieving the Dream is that, in order to significantly improve student success, community colleges must promote and sustain institutional change and use student achievement data to guide the changes.


Moving the Needle to Improve Student Success describes the interventions, most taken to scale, developed by each college and based on their student data and the culture of their campus. The publication also describes the lessons learned by College Spark that we hope will be useful to college leaders, faculty, funders, and policy leaders interested in supporting, growing, and sustaining improvements at community colleges in service of student success.  


College Spark Washington supports sixteen Washington community and technical colleges participating in Achieving the Dream in order to help more low-income students earn their degrees.

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