Outcomes Acceleration Fund

students in class

College Spark has awarded over 100 grants focused on accelerating outcomes for students, totaling over $20 million since 2005.

Eligible Projects

All projects that receive Outcomes Acceleration funding must measure their impact with one or more of the outcome indicators.  All funded projects must be designed to both improve student outcomes over an established baseline and to generate knowledge about how to better serve students that will be useful to other organizations.  Eligible grantees include organizations and schools that work with students in high school or college in Washington.

Outcome Indicators:

  • Reduce the percentage of low-income high school students who trigger Early Warning Indicators – attendance under 90%, course failure, and/or suspension/expulsion.
  • Increase the percentage of low-income high school students who complete Algebra II with a grade of C or higher.
  • Increase the rate of high school graduates (particularly those with a stated intention by spring of 12th grade of attending a two-year college) who directly enroll in postsecondary education.
  • Increase the rate of students at two-year colleges who are placed into initial English and math courses by measures that are alternatives to standardized tests.  Examples of alternative measures include placement based on high school GPA, Bridge Course completion, and directed self-placement tools.
  • Increase the percentage of students who earn their first college-level credits in English or math within one year of college enrollment.  Qualifying projects can work with high school or college students.

To learn more about the Outcomes Acceleration Fund, review this webinar about our giving guidelines, priorities, and application process.

Promising Practices

We are particularly interested in projects that allow us to learn more about some strategies that have been identified as promising practices for promoting growth in the Fund outcome indicators. Learn more about Promising Practices.

Applying for Outcomes Acceleration Funding

We are not currently accepting applications for funding.  New requests for applications will be issued in late summer 2021.

Before you begin the process of applying, we encourage you to learn more about the Outcomes Acceleration Fund focus and giving guidelines by viewing this Introduction to Outcomes Acceleration Fund Webinar or downloading the Request for Proposals.  The Outcomes Acceleration Fund accepts letters-of-inquiry (LOIs) on a rolling basis.  There are no deadlines for submission.  LOIs will be considered and applicants will be notified within 30 days whether the request was declined or if a full grant proposal is invited.

To be eligible for College Spark funding, applicant organizations must be one of the following:

  • Organized and operated for purposes described in IRC Section 501(c)(3) and a public charity under IRC Section 509(a);
  • A university, college, school or other institution described in IRC Section 170(c)(1); or
  • A public agency, unit of government, tribal government, or tribal program under IRC Section 7871.

LOIs may be submitted by eligible organizations with a staffed and physical presence in Washington that can demonstrate successful experience in reaching and serving low-income students.  Students are considered low-income if they are eligible for Pell Grants or Washington State Need Grants, or from families eligible for one of the following public assistance programs: SNAP (food stamps), Free and Reduced Price Lunch, or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

A select number of LOI respondents are invited to submit a full application. However, a request for a full application does not guarantee funding.

Please contact Rachel Clements,  Program Officer, with any questions.

Our Grantees

2020 Grantees

City Year Seattle/King County (Puget Sound) — $150,000
In collaboration with teachers and administrators, City Year identifies students who would most benefit from targeted one-on-one and small group interventions in the areas of math, English language art, and social-emotional learning.  City Year Seattle/King County has been serving the feeder elementary and middle schools for Chief Sealth and Rainier Beach High Schools for over ten years, and has successfully contributed to Early Warning Indicator reductions in those schools.  This project would support scaling these effective services to high school students in the region for the first time.  In addition to funding the expansion of direct services to reduce Early Warning Indicators into South Seattle high schools, City Year Seattle/King County plans to use grant funds to refine, formalize, and deepen its racial equity practices and framework.

Clover Park Technical College (Lakewood) —  $138,120
Clover Park Technical College will use grant funding to implement four evidence-based practices to improve the rate of students earning college-level English credit within one year of enrollment.  The four practices are 1) fully scaling corequisite English courses and eliminating stand-alone developmental English, 2) transitioning from a placement test to directed self-placement as the primary placement instrument for English, 3) contextualizing English 101 to Guided Pathways areas of concentration, and 4) redesigning the terminal transitional studies English course to align to corequisite English 101.

Community Center for Education Results (Puget Sound) —  $150,000
Each year, thousands of students intending to go to college fail to actually enroll.  College-going plans for as many as 40% of students dissolve in a typical summer.  To address this, the Community Center for Education Results (CCER) will lead a project with three strands of system-building work to reduce summer melt, increase direct enrollment rates, and to reduce equity gaps in those rates.  CCER will focus on building a system to collect and track data about key steps towards postsecondary enrollment.  This data, including intent after high school, financial aid completion, applications submitted, and admissions and enrollment decisions made will be compiled into actionable reports that schools will use to inform a case-management approach to promoting direct enrollment.  The second strand of work is to improve and formalize partnerships between high schools and the two-year colleges in the area.  To reduce summer melt, CCER will pilot strategies including follow-up phone calls, text “nudge” campaigns, virtual meetings and possible on-campus events to test how to most efficiently scale summer transition supports for students least likely to enroll without them.

Enlearn (Puget Sound) —  $150,000
Enlearn will initiate a research and evaluation project to improve the effectiveness of corequisite math courses and their embedded support.  In states that have scaled corequisite math remediation, it is typical for about two-thirds of students to earn college-level math credit within one year of enrollment – a success rate four to five times higher compared to students who begin a developmental sequence.  Corequisite courses are being implemented differently across the country and within Washington state.  Some separate developmental and college-level students while others comingle them.  Some use only one instructor, some use a college-level instructor and a developmental instructor working in close partnership, and others use two instructors who not coordinate in any way.  All of these versions of corequisite courses are more effective for students than a developmental sequence, but there is a need for research on whether some of these choices have consequences for completion rates, closing equity gaps, and promoting additional success in future courses.

Franklin Pierce School District (Tacoma) —  $150,000
Franklin Pierce School District will use grant funding to develop and implement a comprehensive equity plan for the district. The proposed work plan includes a process of policy audit and revision, universal professional development on culturally relevant teaching, implementing alternative discipline systems, enhanced family engagement, and improving human resources practices. Teams will develop equity plans with school-specific improvement goals, tasks, and equity metrics. The district will refine its strategies for recruitment, retention, and advancement of staff of color.

Innovia (Eastern Washington) —  $150,000
Innovia Foundation will use grant funding to support research and analysis as well as community forums to inform the strategic and programmatic decision making of the Regional Leadership Councils. The funded research and forums will allow the Councils to plan activities based on local data about the school conditions, practices, and supports that have the best evidence of promoting direct postsecondary enrollment for rural Washington students rather than relying only on national data or research that does not have a focus on rural communities.

Lower Columbia College  (Longview) — $60,500
Lower Columbia College (LCC) will create a corequisite math course for students in its STEM math pathway.  LCC currently has a three-course pre-college math sequence for STEM, business transfer, and online students.  The new sequence will have two pre-college courses and replace the third with a corequisite version of Math 141 (Pre-Calculus).  The majority of STEM developmental math students would be placed in a corequisite, credit-bearing Pre-Calculus course.  Project work will include planning the curriculum and assessments for the new corequisite course, sustained professional development for making the instructional shifts that best support corequisite instruction, and making the necessary changes to the placement process.

Pierce College  (Puget Sound) — $150,000
Pierce College will use grant funding to make equity improvements to its Guided Self Placement (GSP) and corequisite supports for both math and English. Pierce College was an early adopter among Washington colleges in scaled implementation of both GSP and corequisite courses. The results of its early corequisite implementation work have been impressive and have contributed to Pierce having among the highest rates of students earning college-level math and English credit in the state. Pierce College continues to examine and dismantle the ways in which their current design is still “built upon traditions that perpetuate white supremacy and barriers impacting marginalized students” in order to eliminate remaining equity gaps.

Puget Sound Educational Service District  (Puget Sound) — $150,000
The direct college enrollment rate in South King County has remained flat at about 66% over the last ten years.  To address this, the Puget Sound Educational Service District will support a planning process for improving the direct college enrollment rates of students from high-poverty high schools in South King County and for reducing equity gaps in direct college enrollment.  Project work will include cross-sector work groups collaborating on the design of supports offered in high schools and colleges as well as improved coordination between high schools and colleges.  The aim of this work is to establish effective programming and practices that will facilitate systems change and advance racial equity.

Puget Sound Educational Service District  (Puget Sound) — $150,000
Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) will use grant funding for a research project to identify and evaluate measures of student attendance and engagement that are meaningful, actionable, and relevant in the context of widespread school closure and remote learning. Attendance and engagement strategies will be evaluated through quantitative data, such as grades, course completion, and grade to grade progression, and through qualitative interview and focus groups with students and families, prioritizing voices from communities of colors. This information will be shared with the Attendance and Engagement Network school teams to provide feedback on strategies that appear promising and on strategies that may need adapted to be more relevant to the students and families. The second year of funding will be used to continue partnering with network schools to conduct Plan/Do/Study/Act improvement cycles to improve engagement. These cycles will also incorporate qualitative and quantitative data from school and district participants, students, families, and participants on the design team. Funding in both years will be used to disseminate lessons learned from the participating schools to the broader PSESD region of King and Pierce counties.

Spokane Public Schools (Spokane) — $150,000
On Track Academy (OTA) is an alternative high school in Spokane that has been serving credit-deficient high school students for 10 years.  OTA has been successful at getting students to high school graduation who start out behind, and at 95%, the graduation rate exceeds that of the district as a whole.  OTA administrators are now working to improve direct postsecondary enrollment rates.  The school will use grant funds to create an embedded series of career exploration and college application activities for all students, delivered during the school day through a required course.  Grant funds will also be used to develop and refine curriculum and teacher-led activities to embed in a leadership course that includes career inventories, exploration of best-fit colleges and majors/programs, college and financial aid applications, campus visits that include college program exploration, and growth mindset  activities.

State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (statewide) — $300,000
While progress has been made on college-level English completion at two-year colleges in Washington, equity gaps persist at the same levels.  Historically underrepresented students of color pass English 101 at rates about 10% lower than white students.  The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) will use grant funding to develop and pilot a system for using antiracist assessment practices in English 101.  Additionally, connecting classroom practices to Guided Pathways work is critical for faculty engagement.  Recent surveys conducted by SBCTC document that while faculty are generally supportive of Guided Pathways, they struggle to see the connection between the broader redesign work and what they do in the classroom.  SBCTC hopes to address this in part by promoting practices that are both critical to achieving Guided Pathways essential practices – in this case, earning college-level English credit in the first year – and to concretely promoting equity improvements.

Walla Walla Community College  (Walla Walla) — $150,000
Walla Walla Community College (WWCC) plans to fully scale corequisite math courses for all students with developmental placements in each of the current math pathways.  WWCC will develop a corequisite version of Statistics, Math in Society, Math for Elementary Education, and Pre-Calculus.  Currently, WWCC has a three-course developmental math sequence both STEM and non-STEM students.  After one year, WWCC will eliminate the entire developmental sequence and replace it with the new corequisite model.  Grant funds will be used to develop curricula for each of the planned corequisite courses, to ensure learning outcomes meet the needs of each program within Guided Pathways, and to do the necessary systems changes to student services including scheduling, placement, and financial aid.

2019 Grantees


The Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (Tacoma) — $150,000
Meeting math standards is a significant barrier to college readiness and degree completion for low-income students.  With support from College Spark, The Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession will provide professional development for middle school math teachers focused on improving instructional practices and addressing the growth mindset of teachers, supporting Professional Learning Communities (PLC) and teacher leadership development, and family engagement strategies to encourage increased understanding and support of student math work at home.

Clover Park Technical College (Lakewood) — $141,529
Clover Park Technical College (CPTC) will develop and implement a corequisite version of each of its entry college-level math courses and eliminate all stand-alone developmental education courses at CPTC for students above adult basic skills.  Funding will also be used to develop the new system CPTC plans to use for these new corequisite courses.  The primary placement method will be high school transcript analysis and the secondary placement method will be directed self-placement.

Highline College (Des Moines) — $150,000
Highline College will use grant funding to develop and scale corequisite versions of Statistics, PreCalculus, and College Algebra.  About 85% of new students will be placed in a credit-bearing course.  In this model, students enroll in a five-credit college-level mathematics course with mandatory five-credit intermediate-algebra level corequisite support course that will comingled with the college math course.  Highline College plans to contextualize these math courses with examples and methods relevant to different programs of study.  Grant funds will also be used for professional development for corequisite instructors, project coordination, evaluation, and dissemination.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology (Kirkland) — $150,000
Over three years, Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) will transition all of its non-STEM math courses to a flipped classroom learning model.  In flipped classrooms, students view lecture videos as homework and class time is instead devoted to interactive, hands-on, collaborative learning.  LWTech has non-STEM math courses in seven of ten meta-majors, which serve about 75% of students.  This project is part of LWTech’s broader math reform efforts, which also include condensing its developmental sequence from four courses to two and implementing successful directed self-placement system that has resulted in more students placing into and being successful in college-level courses.

Puget Sound Educational Service District (Puget Sound) — $150,000
The Puget Sound Education Service District (PSESD) will work to establish a regional Early Warning Indicator (EWI) Network for School Improvement focused on improving middle school EWI implementation at the building level.  This project seeks to build stronger building-level practice on the existing foundation of district EWI support by creating school networks that work together and learn from each other.  PSESD will serve as the convener and facilitator, conduct quarterly workshops, and provide technical assistance to network schools.

Puget Sound Educational Service District (Puget Sound) — $150,000
Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) will use grant funding to support a three-tiered research project to inform improvements to the use of multiple measures for placement at two-year colleges.  First, PSESD will partner with Highline College to assess short and mid-term outcome changes after its comprehensive placement overhaul in 2015, including changes in persistence, course pass rates, earning 30 credits, and completion.  Second, PSESD will use transcript-level data from the Road Map regions to examine the rate of underplacement of recent high school graduates.  Lastly, the project will include interviews and focus groups of students to better understand their experience with the placement process.

Shoreline Community College (Shoreline) — $148,516
Shoreline Community College will work to create two new non-STEM corequisite courses for Math 107 (Math in Society) and Math 146 (Statistics).  The college sees corequisite math implementation as the next necessary step to meeting its goal of at least 50% of students earning college-level math credit in the first year.  The additional mandatory support class will provide students with just-in-time supports and fill student knowledge-gaps so that they can pass their math classes and meet their educational goals.  Grant funds will be used to develop course curriculum, train faculty, revise courses in response to evaluation and student feedback, and research steps to expand the corequisite model to online and professional-technical programs in the near future.

Skagit Valley College (Mount Vernon) — $149,712
Skagit Valley College will use grant funding to create three new corequisite math courses, one for each of its three math pathways.  Based on its own experience in developmental English reform, Skagit Valley College recognizes that building math faculty commitment to this model is critical.  Grant funding will be used to train faculty in equity mindedness, to examine the research supporting contextualized corequisite remediation, and to understand how pedagogical approaches will need to shift in order for this new model to become effective.

Sound Discipline (Puget Sound) — $150,000
Sound Discipline provides training and coaching to schools working to implement trauma-informed practices and shift away from punitive discipline and towards skill-building, restorative models.  This project will enhance their current work by developing a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum informed by student voice and focusing on the needs of students in middle school and high school.  SEL includes essential skills for academic and professional success such as goal setting, collaboration, conflict management, planning and problem solving.  These skills are important for reducing EWI rates.

South Seattle College (Seattle) — $150,000
Over three years, South Seattle College will develop and implement corequisite math courses with mandatory additional support.  Their first project year will focus on research and development, learning more directly from colleges with existing successful corequisite courses.  Work in subsequent years will include determining content for support courses and revising placement and advising systems to address the new corequisite courses.  Determining the final course sequencing and corequisite credit structure will also be part of the grant-funded project work.


Educational Service District 112 (Vancouver) — $105,000
ESD 112 will tackle a professional development project with the goal of improving math success and Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) scores of students with learning disabilities in southwest Washington.  This project will include 20 middle school math teachers and ten paraeducators who will engage in two weeks of summer learning and three webinars each school year.  During the summer sessions, teachers will complete a classroom planning tool for implementing the framework they will study, Routines for Reasoning, using grade-level mathematics in their classrooms for students with learning disabilities.

Clark College (Vancouver) — $149,644
In an effort to increase access to college-level English, Clark College is planning a scaled implementation of corequisite English and placement reform.  Placement changes include a transition to using high school GPA – regardless of graduation year – as well as introducing  Directed Self-Placement for English to increase the percentage of students who place directly into college-level courses.  Clark plans to develop two new corequisite courses as part of this project.  The highest level of developmental English will be replaced by a corequisite course with required additional support that allows students to earn college-level credit in one quarter.


Columbia Basin College (Pasco) — $148,952
Over three years, Columbia Basin College will create a single corequisite Math for Technical Applications I-BEST course for its three largest technical programs – welding, automotive, and precision machining.  Extra support will be provided in a required, two-credit supplemental instruction section taught by Adult Basic Education instructors.  Math faculty will work with program faculty to develop course curriculum and materials that have the content students need to be successful in their industries and also meets Washington’s I-BEST requirements.

2018 Grantees


Bethel School District (Bethel) — $150,000
Meeting math standards is a significant barrier to college readiness and degree completion for low-income students. With support from College Spark, the Bethel School District will provide professional development for middle school math teachers to help them transition from primarily procedural instruction to more comprehensive, conceptual instruction methods that allow students to better understand how they arrived at a solution.

Pierce College Foundation (Tacoma) — $110,171
Corequisite remediation has the potential to dramatically increase both the rate of students earning college-level math credit and overall degree completion rates.  Pierce College will use grant funding to create a corequisite math class with a supplemental instruction model for each of its existing introductory college-level math courses.  Supplemental instruction is an academic support model that uses collaborative group study for students in traditionally difficult courses.  These weekly hour-long sessions are mandatory and are facilitated by tutors.

Renton Technical College (Renton) — $49,964
Many Washington colleges are interested in encouraging more students who begin in Transitional Studies and more workforce students to complete two-year degrees instead of stopping after completing short-term certificates.  One of the primary barriers for students who might consider completing a degree is getting through the pre-college math sequence and completing college-level math.  Renton Technical College will use grant funding to plan for two new math courses (MATH 175 and 190) that align learning outcomes in Transitional Studies courses and better serve as a bridge to college-level courses.  Depending on where a student begins, the proposed math sequence will allow students to complete their math requirements in one to two quarters faster than is currently possible.

Tacoma Community College (Tacoma) — $28,600
In reviewing the college enrollment data from the Washington Student Achievement Council, Tacoma Community College found that a significant percentage of the College Bound Students they expected never actually enrolled. Tacoma Community College will work on a planning project to improve the transition to college for graduates of Tacoma Public Schools with College Bound Scholarships and to decrease the rate of College Bound Scholars who are required to take developmental education courses upon entering college.

Tacoma Housing Authority (Tacoma) — $135,000
Tacoma Housing Authority will use grant funding to research the effectiveness of the Children’s Savings Account – Scholar Incentive Program. The evaluation will examine, among other variables, whether a savings incentive program that invests in an education fund when students meet academic milestones promotes lower Early Warning Indicator rates in low-income students.


Community Colleges of Spokane (Spokane) — $149,997
In an effort to improve the transition from high school to college, Community Colleges of Spokane will revise its placement strategy at both Spokane and Spokane Falls Community Colleges by collaborating with Spokane Public Schools and regional school districts. The goal of this project is to increase the rate of students who place directly into college-level math by developing transcript-based placement instrument and revising placement practices at both colleges to ensure that the newly development instrument is used at scale.

Community Colleges of Spokane (Spokane) — $103,686
Community Colleges of Spokane (CCS) will develop, pilot, and expand an Academic I-BEST version of corequisite math remediation. Academic I-BEST links two centextualized courses using team-teaching and required wrap-around supports. Students can potentially earn either developmental or college-level credit in English or math depending on their progress and performance in the class. CCS will begin scaling small pilots of Academic I-BEST for math students placed one level below college-level and grow the program to serve 300 students in three years.

Eastern Washington University (Cheney) — $149,573
Over three years, Eastern Washington University plans to develop, pilot, and scale corequisite remediation courses. In corequisite remediation, students are placed directly into college-level courses with required extra support sessions instead of being enrolled in pre-college, non-credit bearing development courses. Corequisite courses will be designed and piloted in the first year, refined based on classroom observation and data analysis and expanded in the second year, and fully scaled in the third year.

Kennewick School District (Kennewick) — $150,000
A $150,000 grant will help Kennewick School District provide professional development for middle school math teachers at Park Middle School. Professional development will include teacher training on grade-level math standards in addition to technical assistance writing units of study and tiered academic interventions for middle school math. Once units have been written, Park Middle School plans to implement a continuous improvement cycle of lesson planning, classroom observations, and facilitated reflection to refine their work.

Spokane Public Schools (Spokane) — $150,000
With a $150,000 grant, Shadle Park High School will work to reduce Early Warning Indicators in 9th and 10th grade so that students complete their early high school years with full credits, are prepared and eligible to take of advantage of dual credit opportunities in 11th and 12th grade, and can earn their first college-level English and math credits before leaving high school. Project work will include the development of a Freshman team and Sophomore team of teachers, administrators, counselors, and achievement gap intervention specialists to develop four practices that support early high school success: 1) common instructional practices, 2) behavioral expectations and discipline practices, 3) grading practices, and 4) assessments. Coordinated work to align practices school-wide to create common behavior policies and instructional practices is a strategy for improving quality and equity.


Olympic Educational Service District 114 (Bremerton) — $146,738
Olympic ESD 114 will provide professional development to a cohort of 20 primarily rural middle school math teachers in its region over three years. Research-based professional learning will focus on equipping teachers to promote student progress in growth mindset and the Common Core State Standards in Mathematical Practices. This project aims to build a middle school teacher cohort through a summer residence program as well as school-year gatherings, and to provide participants with both professional and peer feedback and support. Through classroom implementation of new strategies and continual gathering and analysis of student-produced evidence, Olympic ESD hopes to increase the rate of 8th grade students scoring 3 or higher on the math section of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Peninsula College (Port Angeles) — $149,700
Peninsula College will work to contextualize its first college-level math and English courses to each meta-major and create corequisite courses. Contextualized courses are more relevant to students, and can promote retention and completion. By using examples, readings, assignments, and projects that integrate applications from a broad career pathway that a student chooses, students are more likely to complete college when there is a clear understanding of how course work connects to their career aspirations. The corequisite model will include required additional support sessions for students who are placed directly into credit-bearing math and English courses.


2017 Grantees


Bellingham Technical College (Bellingham) — $150,000
With support from College Spark, Bellingham Technical College will redesign the structure of its development math courses so more students can make it through a college-level math course within two years. Bellingham Technical College plans to convert all of its developmental math classes to flipped classrooms, which deliver lecture content online outside of class time and use the classroom for practicing skills, small group work focused on interaction, problem-solving, and one-on-one instruction.

City Year Seattle/King County (Seattle) — $47,000
City Year Seattle will refine its existing work by using an assessment of social and emotional skills to inform a more targeted approach to providing social emotional learning supports. By using this assessment with students at Denny and Aki Kurose Middle Schools, City Year will support students identified through Early Warning Indicator data with improved interventions to directly address specific deficits rather than working with students on more broad social and emotional goals.

Everett Community College (Everett) — $122,858
Everett Community College will work to increase the percentage of students completing their first college-level math course within one year by: (1) replacing its current six-course pre-college sequence with a new 3-course sequence designed to support the Guided Pathways model; (2) improving the alignment of pre-college math learning outcomes to those in each first college-level math course; (3) increasing use of contextualization in pre-college math that focuses on real-world applications and conceptual understanding; and (4) aligning first college-level math courses to career pathways for both STEM and non-STEM meta-majors.

Highline Public Schools (Highline) — $50,000
Highline Public Schools will develop a plan to improve outcomes for non-traditional Advanced Placement (AP) students. Over the past five years, Highline has made a concerted effort to ensure that students have more equitable access to AP and other dual credit opportunities. A $50,000 grant will help Highline refine its current AP program to help students who are new to AP courses be successful, pass their AP tests, and earn their first college credits in English and/or Mathematics.

Renton Technical College (Renton) — $49,994
Renton Technical College (RTC) will use grant funds for planning the process of creating contextualized English courses for the seven new meta-majors that will be offered at RTC as it transitions to a Guided Pathways model. Contextualized courses teach foundational academic skills in a way that is relevant and meaningful to students in each disciplinary area. By exploring how to best structure contextualized English courses that fulfill degree expectations, rather than only certificate requirements, RTC aims to move more technical students through college-level English courses and on a path to degree completion.

Tacoma Public Schools (Tacoma) — $141,000
Tacoma Public Schools will work to design and implement a restorative justice model of school discipline at Jason Lee Middle School in order to reduce early warning indicators and support the social emotional learning of students. The in-school suspension program will be redesigned for restorative justice activities, which might include service learning or mediation between parties in conflict to guide students to understand and repair the damage caused by their behavior.


Clark College (Vancouver) – $150,000
Clark College aims to reduce the time it takes the 75% of students placed into pre-college math to progress to college-level math. This plan for pre-college math reform includes three primary elements: (1) condensing the current four-course sequence of pre-college courses to two courses; (2) contextualizing these pre-college math courses to each of the four broad degree categories (called meta-majors) that students will enter, which will include Liberal Arts, Social Science and Education, Business, and Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM); (3) students in the Business and STEM meta-majors, which will require more algebraic concepts than the other meta-majors, will receive co-requisite support in the form of supplemental instruction during their first college-level math course rather than requiring a third pre-college course.

Multiple Regions

Mathematics Education Collaborative (statewide) — $300,000
A $300,000 grant will help Mathematics Education Collaborative (MEC) design leadership materials and prepare teachers statewide to lead ongoing professional development that will help mathematics teachers guide students as they make mathematical arguments, critique ineffective strategies, and build on the ideas of their peers.


Spokane Public Schools (Spokane) — $150,000
A $150,000 grant will help Glover Middle School improve its early warning indicator reduction efforts to reduce its suspension rate through a combination of three key strands of work. The plan includes (1) professional development on school-based strategies for working with students in trauma for all teachers and staff, (2) training for students on trauma, resiliency, and strategies for self-regulating emotions, and (3) redesigning the Glover discipline plan to include restorative justice strategies.

South Central

Yakima School District (Yakima) — $150,000
Yakima School District serves 35% English Language Learners (ELL) and 14% migrant students, which is higher than the statewide average for those groups. A $150,000 grant will help Yakima School District design and implement professional development for all middle school math teachers to improve math outcomes for English Language Learners. Teachers will be trained in techniques and tools to help them integrate ELL supports and growth mindset practices into their daily routines.

2016 Grantees


Lake Washington Institute of Technology (Kirkland) – $150,000 over three years to combine its intake and placement systems into one uniform system and to create systems of directed self-placement for English and math.  In directed self-placement, students are allowed to choose from a set of placement options after seeing examples of the concepts, course work, assessment, and student testimonials from different levels of pre-college and college-level math.

Renton Technical College (Renton) — $49,999 in one year to design an Open Doors dual credit reengagement program on its campus for students who left high school before graduating.  In collaboration with the Renton School District and community agencies, Renton Technical College will develop a curriculum that contextualizes English and math instruction into career and technical preparatory courses.

Seattle Public Schools (Aki Kurose Middle School) (Seattle) — $150,000 over two years to develop more intensive interventions to lower the rates of early warning indicators (EWI) for African-American males.  Students in the project will engage in goal setting cycles that will incorporate regular self-reflection with their own EWI and academic data, maintain a goal setting and action portfolio, meet with teachers acting as mentors, participate in facilitated family events, and have opportunities to meet with successful adults.  Student support protocols will be designed to allow all African-American males to matriculate into high school with a strong sense of student agency, with clear long term goals, and fully prepared for rigorous coursework.

Skagit Valley College (Mount Vernon) — $149,712 over three years to design, sequence and implement introductory English classes to best promote student learning and success in a Guided Pathways system.  Aligning and sequencing English courses to areas of interest that students select has the potential to improve student motivation and learning.

Whatcom Community College (Bellingham) — $150,000 over three years to scale a co-requisite English course called English 101-Plus.  In co-requisite courses, students that would have been traditionally placed into a developmental, non-credit bearing course are instead placed directly into the college-level course and are provided additional supports during a longer class period.  This model provides the support for students to build skills, self-efficacy, and earn college credit within one academic quarter.

Whatcom Community College(Bellingham) — $150,000 over three years to redesign its math placement practices and developmental sequence to increase the rate of students earning college-level credit within two years.  Whatcom Community College will create a directed self-placement tool to help students select a math course for themselves after seeing examples of the concepts, course work, assessment, and student testimonials.

Multiple Regions

Republic School District (North Central, South Central, Eastern) — $150,000 over three years to develop, share, and sustain systems for long term improvements in discipline policy and practice.  Sound Discipline, a community-based organization, will provide support, consultation, and coaching to data teams from 10 rural districts focused on reducing discipline problems and improving outcomes for students.  The Rural Alliance for College Success will connect the work of participating districts so that implementation is supported by a network of rural educators.


Community Colleges of Spokane (Spokane) — $149,991 over three years to partner with five districts within the Eastern Washington Rural Alliance Partnership (Mary Walker, Reardan-Edwall, Riverside, Grand Coulee Dam, and Colville) to improve college and career readiness for high school students by better preparing them to enter dual credit opportunities.  College faculty will work with high school teachers and counselors to design student learning modules that address academic gaps in math and English as well as other student success barriers including study skills, mindset, persistence, and time management.

NEWESD 101 (Spokane) — $149,998 over three years to use gamification as a strategy for addressing Early Warning Indicators (EWI) in two Eastern Washington middle schools – Centennial Middle School in the West Valley School District and Riverside Middle School in the Riverside School District.  Gamification is the use of game design elements – rules of play, competition, and scoring – in non-game contexts and has been studied for its potential to improve engagement, organizational productivity, learning, and systems.  NEWESD will train teachers and counselors in gamification of the classroom and about practices for review of EWI and identification of at-risk students.

Spokane Public Schools (Spokane) — $150,000 over three years to make Advanced Placement Language and Composition the default English Language Arts course for all 11th grade students at Rogers High School. Project implementation will include professional development for 9th and 10th grade teachers in differentiation of instruction and instructional strategies that foster rigorous learning, training 11th grade ELA teachers to teach AP courses, and development of an ELA learning community focused on improving the rigor of ELA instruction.


2015 Grantees


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County (Snohomish) –  $49,556 over three years to develop, implement, and refine a curriculum designed for use by school-based volunteer mentors to reduce Early Warning Indicators of course failure, absenteeism, and disciplinary problems leading to suspension or expulsion with middle school students at North Middle School in Everett.

Communities in Schools of Auburn (Auburn) — $141,228 over two years to foster a community/district partnership between Communities in Schools of Auburn and the Auburn School District to improve current intervention strategies for 7th and 8th grade students at Olympic, Mt Baker, and Cascade Middle Schools. The project includes a mix of planned, evidence-based interventions and work to develop new interventions.

Everett Public Schools (Everett) — $150,000 over three years to improve access to rigorous course work for low-income students.  This project will analyze student and survey data to identify the most important readiness, information, and expectation barriers to Advanced Placement (AP) enrollment for low-income students and inform the planning and implementation strategies for student outreach, recruitment, and academic support.  Additionally, Everett Public Schools will work on increasing the effectiveness of teachers with low-income youth in high-rigor courses through professional learning communities focused on teaching AP strategies and developing growth mindset.

Highline College (Des Moines) — $150,000 over three years to enhance its current work on existing placement practices for credit-bearing math courses. This project focuses on redesigning the student experience with placement so that students are making better informed choices. A new sequence of placement activities will require increased student participation, pre-placement advising, multiple measures for assessment, and requiring students with a remedial placement to attend a workshop and retest.

Northwest Indian College (Bellingham) — $114,864 over three years to develop and pilot non-cognitive interventions in the classroom, including the integration of cultural topics and experiences in order to make academic content more relevant to students’ lives, interests, and cultural identities. Forging a greater sense of cultural identity in a classroom setting may influence important markers of degree progress for students.

Seattle University (Seattle) — $150,000 over three years to refine and improve its program by updating training materials for volunteers, aligning tutoring with classroom learning objectives, and creating parent engagement activities.  This project explores how to deepen the partnership between a school and a community partner.

Multiple Regions

Edge Foundation (Tacoma, Burien, Spokane, Yakima, and White Swan) — $150,000 over three years to partner with the University of Washington to evaluate Edge Coaching interventions with middle school students receiving the intervention and a control group of students.  Lessons learned from this evaluation will be instructive to Edge Foundation,  to schools, and to other community based organizations.

Gateway to College National Network (Spokane, Kirkland, Des Moines) — $121,700 over two years to support a “Schools to Jobs” intervention program for dual credit students to help them build a sense of identity and tie that identity to academic and career planning.  Students in the program have the opportunity to complete their high school requirements and transition to college courses on campus at Spokane Falls Community College, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, and Highline College.

University of Washington (Seattle, Granger, Manson, Othello) — $149,995 over two years to support a collaborative effort between University of Washington faculty and high school English teachers to develop and implement a supplemental curriculum for 10th and 11th grade students to improve their readiness for a UW in the High School English class.  The goal of the project is to prepare a more diverse range of students for success in a UW in the High School English course and increase the rate of students earning their first college credit in high school.

2014 Grantees


Everett Community College (Everett) — $39,500 for a research project about the relationship that student preparation and characteristics have with the long-term math success of community college students that have gone through various reforms to the developmental math sequence that have been tried at Everett Community College.

Green River Community College Foundation (Auburn) — $77,749 over three years to develop and test the required use of an out of class writing center services for students in remedial English and learn how requiring academic supports that are typically optional can affect the likelihood of transitioning to successful completion of college level English courses.

Tacoma Community College (Tacoma) — $150,000 over three years to facilitate a collaborative effort between Tacoma Community College and Tacoma Public Schools to improve the alignment between the K-12 and postsecondary project partners, reduce learning gaps in the transition from high school to college in math and English, and better prepare students for college-level work.

The Dream Project (Seattle) — $150,000 over three years to enhance its current work by improving its curriculum, materials and training of mentors; and improvements to its data management system to better inform efforts to help students avoid remediation.


Eastern Washington University (Cheney) — $149,985 over three years to partner with Community Colleges of Spokane and K-12 school districts in the greater-Spokane region to improve the alignment of curriculum and assessments with each other and to the Common Core State Standards.

NorthEast Washington Educational Service District 101 (Spokane) — $149,799 over three years to develop and implement an Algebra-readiness boot camp for students in 5th – 7th grades and professional development for middle school math teachers with the goal of increasing the number of students taking and passing Algebra by the 8th grade.


Educational Service District 112 (Vancouver) — $150,000 over three years for professional development to help math teachers improve their skills in teaching Algebra to low-income middle school students. The project includes providing direct support to 75 students over three years to help them overcome barriers to success in math and change the culture of math fear and avoidance.


Peninsula College (Port Angeles) — $149,989 over two years to expand a pilot of “flipped classrooms” – a term used to describe delivering lecture content online outside of class time and using the classroom for practicing skills, small group interactions and one-on-one instruction – to all sections of one level of developmental math and developmental English with the goal of improving the number of students that are able to go on to earn college-level credits.

North Central

Brewster School District (Brewster) –$145,000 over three years to implement TI-Math Forward, a program that includes professional development for middle school math teachers, extended class time for math, and improved use of technology to support instruction.

South Central

Toppenish Middle School (Toppenish) –$150,000 over three years to provide professional development to math teachers and required out-of-school time support to students struggling the most with math at a 100% free and reduced lunch middle school that has recently transitioned to Algebra for all students.

Central & Eastern

The Rural Alliance for College Success – Mary Walker School District (Springdale) –$120,000 over three years to administer a college placement test for math to high school juniors at over 20 participating schools and provide a remediation course during senior year to low-scoring students. The goal is to reduce the number of students that require remedial math in college.

Northwest & North Central

Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (Olympia) –$150,000 over three years to assist a group of colleges with developing and implementing transcript-based placement procedures for English to replace current placement procedures that rely only on placement tests and to develop a toolkit on how to do this work that can be used by other colleges in Washington.