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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Upcoming Events


Schools Out Washington

The Bridge from School to Afterschool and Back Conference is a two-day conference held at the Husky Union Building at the University of Washington in Seattle, October 21-22. Bridge brings together afterschool and youth development (AYD) professionals, school leaders (e.g. superintendents, principals and classroom teachers), funders, researchers, policymakers, trainers/coaches and business leaders from across the country.



AVID National Conference  
Leading the Way to College Success will be held in Grapevine, Texas December 12-14, 2013. It is a forum to discuss and share best practices on opening access to rigorous curriculum for all. Participants include superintendents, school board members, district and site administrators, and other educational leaders.
In the News
Washington's Community Colleges
Marty Brown, Executive Director at the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, guest posts in The News Tribune explaining how Two year colleges are engines of upward mobility.  The 16 community colleges participating in the Achieving the Dream initiative, aimed at helping low-income students and students of color succeed, are highlighted.  



Reminder: Community Grants Program accepting Letters-of-Interest through October 14 


The College Spark Washington Community Grants Program is an annual, statewide, grantmaking 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.


As a reminder, the Community Grants Program will be accepting Letters-of-Interest (LOI) through October 14, 2013. You can visit our website to learn more about promising practices for improving the Community Grants Program outcome indicators. All projects that receive Community Grants funding must measure their impact by using at least one of the outcome indicators below:


Outcomes that focus on middle school success

  • Increase the number of students who enroll in and pass Algebra by the end of 8th grade
  • 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 students that require development education when they transition from high school to college
  • Increase the number of students who pass their first college-level English or math course - either while in high school, after taking development education classes, or directly upon entering college

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


To learn more about the Community Grants Program, contact Rachel Clements, Program Officer, at


Between 2005-2013, College Spark Washington awarded more than 100 Community Grants totaling $12.5 million.

College Spark Washington releases new foundation brochure
                   Brochure cover   
College Spark Washington has committed more than $37 million towards student success since 2004.  From Here to There highlights several programs and initiatives aimed at helping low-income students succeed through the Community Grants Program, the College Readiness Initiative, Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count, and the Washington Scholarship Coalition.  
Grantee News in the Field
A new report by Partnership for Learning and Model Secondary Schools Project examines how the shift to college- and career-readiness standards is changing K-12 learning environments in Washington. The report, "Expanding Our Expectations," addresses Washington's educational challenges (state funding, and growing opportunity and achievement gaps) and how the successful implementation of Common Core State Standards is a key part of a larger education toolbox to better prepare students for college, work and life.
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