Project Overview

  • The grant program, called Core to College: Preparing Students for College Readiness and Success, aims to foster long-term collaborations between state higher education and K-12 entities that will improve student college readiness and increase rates of enrollment and graduation, using the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and assessments to establish a statewide common definition of college readiness to signal a student’s preparedness for credit-bearing college courses.
  • Washington is one of twelve states in the project (Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Oregon are the others).
  • The project steering committee reflects a partnership among the major Washington education agencies: State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), the Council of Presidents, and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
  • Funding for Core to College is provided by the Lumina Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The partners developed Core to College with the assistance of Education First Consulting, which will provide continuing project management. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the program’s fiscal sponsor, is responsible for grant decisions and all aspects of ongoing grant administration. For more information on Core to College, please see the RPA web site.
  • The grant period is January 2012 through December 2014.

Project Goals/Progress Report [Summer 2013]

Goal 1: Build faculty ownership and understanding of the CCSS (Common Core State Standards) as meaningful and useful college-readiness standards

1)     Convened a small cross-sector group (2- and 4-year faculty and K-12 educators; 22 in math, 20 in English language arts, ELA) initially in May, 2012 for a one-day discussion with disciplinary peers about the CCSS and the Core to College project, and again in October 2012 to explore in more detail the potential relevance of the Smarter Balanced (SB) assessment as a college-readiness and/or placement assessment for Washington higher education and in particular to review the released Smarter Balanced sample items

2)      Met with various faculty and system groups, including WACTE (Washington Association of Colleges of Teacher Education), to share information about the CCSS and the Core to College project

3)     Recruited Washington faculty to participate in key Smarter Balanced events, including drafting the Achievement Level Descriptors

4)     Conducted site visits to public baccalaureate institutions to discuss Core to College work with key faculty identified by campus representatives (Winter/Spring 2013)


Goal 2: Develop statewide higher education agreement on the use of the CCSS in defining Washington college-readiness standards and the role of the SMARTER Balanced assessment instrument in assessing that readiness   

1)     Gathered faculty input on Smarter Balanced draft college content-readiness and achievement level descriptors (ALDs) (December 2012-January 2013)

2)     Met with key system groups (deans, vice-presidents, provosts, Joint Transfer Council) to review and respond to Smarter Balanced draft statement on college content-readiness and potential implications of policy-level achievement level descriptors (January-March 2013)

3)     Assembled a policy work group of key system stakeholders to develop draft recommendations for higher education’s use of the Smarter Balanced 11th grade assessment results as a college readiness indicator as part of the placement process (Fall 2013)


Goal 3: Promote use of CCSS framework and Smarter Balanced assessment within higher education in ways that improve student transitions between high school and college

1)     Selected six local implementation college/K-12 partnerships from around the state to collaborate around incorporating the CCSS and the Smarter Balanced assessment into their efforts to improve students’ transition from high school to college (see list on following page)

2)     Provide technical support resources for these projects and showcase their efforts in other existing venues for faculty (conferences, system meetings, etc.) (Ongoing)

For a brief description of the ongoing work at these local projects, see the file below:

C2C Local Project Status Jan2013


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