Over the first five years, Ready to Rise will serve 1,000 students, primarily first-generation college-goers, underrepresented students of color, or from low-income families.


We are committed to ensuring that Ready to Rise participants develop the necessary attitudes, beliefs, knowledge and skills to be successful in college and beyond.

For example, Ready to Rise participants will:

  • understand how to select a college that is a good fit,
  • know how to complete required tasks over the summer for college enrollment,
  • experience a sense of belonging in their cohorts; develop their identities as leaders,
  • know where to go for support on their campuses,
  • take advantage of leadership and vocational development opportunities, and
  • connect with leaders from their home communities.

As a result, we expect Ready to Rise participants to enroll in, persist in and complete college at higher rates than their demographically similar peers at the same colleges and universities.

We inspire–but do not require–Ready to Rise alumni to return to their home communities to lead and serve.


When you think about moments of significant positive change that have happened in your community, you can usually point to a group of connected people who made it happen. Networks of effective leaders working together get things done. The problem is that those leadership networks don’t always look like or represent the full breadth of a community, and as a result, some groups tend to get left behind. For our communities to thrive in the future, we need diverse networks of homegrown leaders who love their home and are committed to building vibrant communities where everyone thrives.


Deeply committed to measuring and understanding the impact of Ready to Rise, College Spark Washington and Degrees of Change are contracting with Claremont Evaluation Center at Claremont Graduate University in a five-year formal evaluation of the project.

The CEC is an applied research center committed to integrating responsible, transdisciplinary scholarship and evidence-based best practices in serving the continuous improvement of schools and educational organizations through applied research and evaluation. CGU has long been a leader in graduate education in Educational Studies and Organizational and Evaluation Sciences. A leader in the global community, CGU’s Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences is home to Masters and Doctoral programs in twelve areas of evaluation, including Educational Evaluation.

The CEC Evaluation Team’s approach is rigorous, lean, organic, and participatory, combining stakeholder engagement and collaboration with professional ethics and independent evaluative conclusions.

In order to evaluate program implementation fidelity; student and staff satisfaction; personal, social and academic outcomes for students; program attribution; and return on investment, CEC will utilize both quantitative and qualitative non-experimental methods, such as observation, interviews, focus groups, surveys, matched-pairs regression analysis, and return on investment analysis.

Annual evaluation reports from the CEC team will be published here. For more information, contact Kelly Bay-Meyer, Director of Research & Evaluation.

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