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GRCC gets grant to help low-income students become college-ready

For the Reporter

Green River Community College has been awarded a $77,749 College Spark Washington Community Grant.

The grant will be used over the next three years to develop and test the required use of an out-of-class writing center service for students in remedial English. Students also will learn how requiring academic supports that are typically optional can affect the likelihood of successfully completing college level English courses.

The annual competitive, statewide Community Grants Program focuses on building the effectiveness of grantees working with low-income students in middle, high school and college by funding new and promising practices that help students prepare to transition to college.

Green River is one of 12 grant recipients chosen from throughout Washington.

"We are very excited to work with College Spark Washington to create more visible pathways between our pre-college English classes and academic resources like our Writing Center and Career and Advising Center," said Jamie Fitzgerald, Green River English faculty member and director of the Writing Center.

"These enhanced classes will provide meaningful support for developmental students, many of whom come from low-income backgrounds, in hopes of increasing their chances of earning their first credits in college-level English. Our goal is to equip these students with the tools to become better navigators of college campuses, and to help them transition more quickly towards degree completion."

Green River will measure results using at least one of the four following indicators of future college success:

• Eighth-grade algebra: Increasing the number of students who take and pass Algebra by the eighth grade.

• Early warning indicators: Decreasing the number of middle school students who trigger two of three early warning indicators: five or more absences per semester; course failure; suspension or expulsion.

• Remedial education: Decreasing the number of students who require remedial education in college.

• College math and English: Increasing the number of students who earn their first college-level credit in English or math.

"We are supporting organizations across the state working hard and making progress on postsecondary access, persistence and completion rates for low-income students," said Christine McCabe, executive director of College Spark Washington.

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