College Spark E-Newsletter
College Spark Washington funds programs across Washington state that help low-income students become college-ready and earn their degrees.
Upcoming Events 
AVID hosts their annual conference in San Diego, California, December 10-12, 2015.  The AVID National Conference 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.   
To help families better understand student score reports, Ready Washington and GreatKids developed the Washington Test Guide, available in English and Spanish.  This guide provides information on how to help your child in school and sample questions to ask his or her teacher. 
Using Smarter Balanced Scores to Chart Your Path is an infographic depicting a students path from middle school to high school with the required steps to stay on track.  Download the infographic or watch the video . 
Highline Public Schools developed an infographic showing the actual amount of time students spend on testing.  Out of 1,170 school hours, a typical student spends less than 20 hours on district and state testing.  
November 2, 2015
College Spark awards over $10 million in new grants to help low-income students graduate from college 


Together Through College, led by Degrees of Change, will receive nearly $3.4 million over five years to help low-income students stay on track and graduate from colleges.  Guided Pathways, led by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, will receive more than $7 million over eight years to make system-level changes that will provide more clarity on how to navigate the path to a desired degree. 


Together Through College is a cohort-based program in which groups of students graduating from the same community and heading off to the same college receive a range of services including peer and adult mentoring, college readiness and academic supports, help in navigating college-based services, and leadership training.  This model calls on a collaborative effort between colleges and community organizations to work together to improve the success of local college students.  


Guided Pathways is an evidence-based approach that simplifies choices about college courses, informs and supports those choices, and directs students into an intentional, comprehensive program of study that leads to a credential.  Students who also receive focused advising to support their progress toward their chosen degree goals.


"We are supporting organizations and ideas that are making progress on postsecondary persistence and completion rates for low-income students," said Christine McCabe, Executive Director at College Spark Washington.  "Both programs have shown evidence of effectiveness, and these organizations have track records of success with innovative and bold strategies." 

Bridge to College launches new website


Bridge to College Math and English Language Arts courses are available 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.  Visit the recently launched Bridge to College website for more information and resources for students, parents, and educators. 

Common Core Teacher Pioneers

Washington STEM's Common Core Teacher Pioneers series features teachers throughout Washington implementing Common Core-aligned classroom instruction.  Watch a video of what the Common Core learning standards mean for educators and students.


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