November 30, 2023
Contact: Crystal Ellington, Director of Antiracist Storytelling |  

CCER Awarded $1.2 Million Grant for Improving Data Capacity to Support High School Transition in South Seattle and South King County

Renton, Washington – The Community Center for Education Results announces the receipt of a grant that will help advance our mission to transform the education sector and strengthen pathways from secondary to postsecondary education for youth in South Seattle and South King County. This $1.2 million grant is the result of funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr. Kristin McCowan, Director of Research Partnerships with CCER states, ” As we continue to uplift student and community voices, this grant will support the modernization of our data systems, advance our ability to conduct qualitative research and expand our capacity to facilitate community-based research in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders throughout the Road Map Project region.”

CCER is the backbone agency of the Road Map Project, a collective impact initiative with a steadfast commitment to advancing racial equity and centering community. These initiatives will culminate in community-centered approaches that will guide our collective mission, ensuring that Black, Indigenous, youth of color, in the Road Map Region are well supported as they pursue their post-secondary educational pathways.

This funding will be allocated to enhance various facets of our work to respond to the evolving education landscape, with an emphasis on dismantling the barriers to high school to postsecondary enrollment in the state of Washington. The grant will be allocated across the key areas of Data Systems Development and Modernization, Community-Engaged Research, and Capacity Building:

  • Data Systems Development and Modernization: Data warehouse modernization and establishing innovative methods for uplifting student and community perspectives.
    • Data Warehouse Modernization: Migrate data warehouse to the cloud to leverage best-practice data security, analytics and data management processes
    • Qualitative Data Collection: Pilot the use of SenseMaker, a data collection tool and method that is designed to explore and make sense of complex emergent social patterns.
  • Community Engaged Research: Community Practice Partnerships (CPP) is a pilot initiative that brings together students, educators, college and career staff, school and district leaders, community-based organization(s), and college/university staff to co-create solutions that better support students in pursuing their post-secondary aspirations.
  • Capacity Building: Piloting CCER’s new Data and Research Fellowship Program and offering products to help build data capacity across Washington state.
    • Data & Research Fellowships- CCER will recruit, hire, and train three fellows per year from communities of color within the Road Map Project region who desire to learn about data and/or research practices. Fellows will bring their lived experience, expertise and interest in advocacy or education system change. In turn, fellows will receive training in qualitative research methodologies and/or quantitative data skills (e.g., analytics, visualization, etc.), and broaden their networks in educational research and advocacy.

Despite the existence of various initiatives and resources designed to facilitate students’ college access, they frequently operate independently, lacking a coordinated and cohesive approach. Through extensive, collective research conducted in South Seattle and South King County, it became clear that these failings have disproportionately affected Black youth:

  • Among Black high school graduates who directly enrolled in a local CTC, only 16% were eligible for placement in college math – and 43% in college English – if they were to use their high school transcripts for course placement at their college (Inequity by Design: How College Placement Policies Perpetuate Institutional Racism – Road Map Project).  Because course placement policies are inconsistent within the region, many of these students could have been eligible for placement if they had graduated from a different school district or enrolled in a different college.
  • 2 in 5 Black students were placed in precollege math even when then they were eligible for college-level math placement based on their high school course taking and grades. (Inequity by Design).

This work stands as a pivotal milestone within our mission, driven by its vital role in facilitating direct engagement with students, families, and practitioners. By working collaboratively within these partnerships, we are poised to foster a more inclusive and equitable educational landscape, where every student, regardless of their background, has an equal opportunity to thrive and succeed.


About Community Center for Education Results: CCER is a nonprofit established in 2010 to serve as the Road Map Project’s primary backbone organization. Our goal is to establish equitable policies and practices in our education system that lead with race, center community expertise, and work to dismantle systemic inequities to dramatically improve educational and quality of life outcomes, particularly for our most marginalized populations. For more information, visit

Posted in: College and Career Readiness , Data and Research

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