About this Report

This report is the result of the expertise and labor of many individuals and organizations working together with and for students in South King County and South Seattle. Research findings and recommendations are products of a three-study series led in partnership among the Puget Sound Education Service District (PSESD), Highline College, and the Community Center for Education Results (CCER). Funding for this project was provided by College Spark Washington. This partnership formed an advisory group of staff from community and technical colleges, one high school district, and an education access organization in South King County, as well as three representatives from the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC). The role of this advisory group was to inform and contextualize the findings of the research team. The perspectives and positions stated in this report do not necessarily reflect those of each advisory board member.

PSCCN text logo in color

Puget Sound College & Career Network (PSCCN) is Puget Sound Educational Service District’s postsecondary team, driving equitable access to and success in postsecondary education for students across the King and Pierce Counties by leading with racial equity. PSCCN builds regional capacity, engages leaders at all levels, and facilitates continuous improvement within and across educational systems to implement policies and programming to close opportunity gaps so that first generation, low income, and students of color have the opportunity to obtain postsecondary credentials. Learn more on PSCCN's website. PSCCN contributed to this project by providing overall project and grant management, presenting to and engaging with the Advisory Group, and participating in the collaborative writing process.

Highline College text logo

Highline College is a nationally and internationally recognized community college based in Des Moines, WA. The college has earned its reputation through the development of an institutional culture that values innovation, globalization of curriculum and community participation. As a public institution of higher education serving a diverse community in a multicultural world and global economy, Highline College promotes student engagement, learning, and achievement, integrates diversity and globalism throughout the college, sustains relationships within its communities, and practices sustainability in human resources, operations, and teaching and learning. In the 2019-20 academic year, the college served over 15,000 credit and non-credit students. Highline serves 40 percent low-income students and 77 percent of students identify as students of color (Highline College 2021; SBCTC 2021). Learn more on Highline College's website. Highline College contributed to this project by leading one of the three studies, facilitating the Advisory Group, and participating in the collaborative writing process. 

CCER logo with box and lines in color

Community Center for Education Results (CCER) is a nonprofit created to serve as the Road Map Project’s backbone organization. The CCER team provides data, research, communications, program, logistical, and other support in service to the Road Map Project, a collective impact initiative to boost success from early learning to college and career for students who attend K-12 in the seven-district area of South King County and South Seattle. Learn more on the Road Map Project website. CCER contributed to this report by designing and leading two of the three studies, presenting to and engaging with the Advisory Group, and participating in the collaborative writing process. 

We would like to extend a special thanks to the students who shared their K-12 and college experiences with us through surveys and interviews. Their lived experiences and feedback were pivotal to understanding the impact of current community and technical college placement.

Advisory Group

  • Janet Blanford | Highline Public Schools
  • Vanessa Calonzo | Seattle Colleges
  • Anthony Covington | Renton Technical College
  • Darby Kaikkonen | SBCTC
  • Victor Kuo* | Seattle Colleges
  • David Larsen | Green River College
  • Danika Martinez | Northwest Education Access
  • Bill Moore  | SBCTC
  • Laura Schueller | SBCTC

*Victor Kuo passed away on June 18, 2020. He was a valuable member of our advisory committee and the local education community, and his presence is dearly missed. Victor is survived by his wife Annie and his daughter Vivian. More on Victor’s life and legacy available here

Project Team

  • Brian Chu | CCER
  • Emily Coates  | Highline College
  • Shelby Cooley | CCER
  • Mercy Daramola | PSCCN
  • Christian Granlund | PSCCN
  • Brock Grubb | Brock Grubb Consulting, LLC
  • Kanza Hamidani | Northwest Education Access
  • Jose Hernandez | UW eScience Institute
  • Kyla Lackie | PSCCN
  • Natasha Rosenblatt | CCER
  • Shannon Waits | Highline College
  • Annia Yoshizumi | CCER