College Spark E-Newsletter

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

Connect with Us!
Like us on Facebook        Follow us on Twitter

Upcoming Events


School's Out Washington Bridge Conference

October 27-28, 2014
Seattle, WA 
Save the date for The Bridge from School to Afterschool and Back Conference presented by School's Out Washington and offering professional development to support afterschool program providers.

October 26-28, 2014
The Westin Seattle
Seattle, WA
GEAR UP West is hosting Expanding Opportunities, a collaborative regional conference for college access practitioners, evaluators, higher education professionals, middle and high school teachers, counselors, and administrators. All those working to help low-income and underrepresented students prepare for and succeed in college are welcome to attend.
In the News
Partnership aims at getting teenagers college ready by Tod Treat in The Tacoma News Tribune describes the collaboration between Tacoma Public Schools and Tacoma Community College to better align high school and college curriculum so more students will be better prepared for the transition to college.

College Spark grantee Partnership for Learning (PFL) is helping to coordinate Ready Washington efforts to help families and community members understand how Common Core State Standards help all students be better prepared for college, work, and life. Learn more about how the Common Core was developed, its content, and how it will be assessed through Ready Washington.


Community Grants Program is now 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 successful transition to college.

The Community Grants Program will be accepting Letters-of-Interest (LOI) through October 14, 2014. 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 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 students who 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.

Want to learn more about the Community Grants Program?

Since 2005, College Spark Washington has granted more than $40 million throughout Washington state, with $14 million directed to the annual Community Grants Program.


College Spark launches new College-Ready Math Initiative 

College Spark Washington is investing $12 million over seven years in a new College-Ready Math Initiative to help low-income students graduate from high school with strong math skills and avoid remediation in college. The Initiative includes a variety of evidence-based strategies and programs designed to help students improve their scores on the 11th grade Smarter Balanced Assessment, which measures Common Core State Standards, and provide high school seniors with a 'last chance' opportunity to develop the math skills they need to avoid remediation in college or earn college-level math credits while in high school.
The programs include:
School-Year Academic Youth Development (AYD) - A program designed to improve student performance in STEM courses by helping students develop a growth mindset and become more engaged and motivated. 
Intensified Algebra - An algebra program that combines a growth mindset curriculum with pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 course content. 
Senior Year Transition Courses - Math and English Language Arts courses 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 the majority of colleges in Washington and permitted to enroll in college-level math courses without additional placement testing.
Equity in Higher Level Math - Research consistently shows that students who take rigorous math courses during their senior year do better in college than other students.  Studies also show that many of the low-income students and students of color who could succeed in such courses are missing from these classes.  A variety of strategies will be funded to increase access to and success in higher level math courses. 
Grant funding for AYD and Intensified Algebra is available now, with proposals due October 30th.  Contact Danise Ackelson at OSPI for more information.
Our Website:HomeAbout UsGrantsWhat We Learn