College Spark Washington Awards $39,500 Grant to EvCC for Student Success Study

Press Release

Release Date: May 8, 2014
Contact: Christopher Quarles, EvCC Math Instructor, 425-388-9977;

College Spark Washington Awards $39,500 Grant to EvCC for Student Success Study

EVERETT, Wash. – Everett Community College has received a $39,500 grant from College Spark Washington to study student success. 

The two-year grant funds a study led by EvCC math instructor Christopher Quarles, who is working on the project with EvCC Institutional Research director Alec Campbell and University of California, Berkeley researcher Mickey Davis.

“The grant will help fund research that examines the relationships between how much students learn in a math class, their demographics and their likelihood of getting through college math,” Quarles said. “It will help us figure out which college strategies help students do well in math and get a degree.”

College Spark’s 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 be college-ready and transition successfully to college.

“The College Spark grant compliments the college’s ongoing work to increase student success. We are proud of Chris and his research to assess the best ways for EvCC to support students in completing college-level math,” said EvCC President David Beyer.  

EvCC’s grant is one of 12 awarded by College Spark this year. The grantees will measure results using at least one of the four following indicators of future college success:

  • 8th 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 at College Spark Washington. “These grantees will be tracking their results and sharing what works.”

Since 2005, College Spark Washington’s Community Grants Program has awarded more than 100 Community Grants totaling $14 million. 

To see a full list and descriptions of grantees visit the 2014 Community Grantees web page,


College Spark Washington funds programs across Washington state that help low-income students become college-ready and earn their degrees. Grantees include community-based organizations, K-12 schools and districts, community and technical colleges, four-year colleges and universities, educational nonprofits, and public agencies. College Spark began supporting access to higher education in 1978 and, since 2005, has awarded more than $38 million to college readiness and degree completion programs throughout the state.