September 11, 2012
Annual Statewide Community Grants Program Accepting Applications
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 the successful transition to college.
The Community Grants Program is now accepting Letters-of- Interest for the 2013 program; the submission deadline is October 15th, 2012. 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
Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations and schools that work with middle, high school, and college students.
- Reduce the number of students who require developmental education in college
- 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
Want to learn more about the Community Grants Program?
Between 2005-2012, College Spark Washington awarded more than 100 Community Grants totaling $11 million.
New Reports Highlight Importance of College and Career-Readiness
Two reports released this summer offer important information for those working to ensure all Washington high school students graduate college and career-ready.
The Condition of College Career Readiness, from ACT, reports that one out of five graduating Washington seniors took the ACT in 2012. Of those students, nearly four out of ten students met the college ready benchmarks. ACT defines college and career readiness as the knowledge and skills a students needs to enroll and succeed in a credit-bearing postsecondary institution (two- or four-year).
The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm reports that college graduates fared much better during the recession than those with a high school diploma or less. Nationally, the unemployment rates for recent high school graduates are near 24 percent compared to 6.8 percent for recent four-year college graduates. The report also states that "nearly four out of every five jobs destroyed by the recession were held by workers with a high school diploma or less."
Grantee News from the Field
South Seattle Community College
With College Spark Washington support, the college expanded the summer orientation that is required for all students in the 13th Year Promise Scholarship. The two-week academy introduced incoming students to college success skills. Early data show decreasing rates of remediation for recent high school graduates.
- Nearly one out of four 13th Year participants placed into college-level math compared to 4% of other recent graduates from Seattle Public Schools.
- Over half of 13th Year participants placed into college-level English, compared to 31% of other recent graduates from Seattle Public Schools.
I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training) is a break-the-mold state program at colleges across the state. The program pairs workforce training with Adult Basic Education or English as a Second Language so students learn literacy and workplace skills at the same time.