Franklin Pierce Schools and UW-Tacoma agree to “Pathway to Promise” Partnership

Tacoma, WASHINGTON (9 October 2014)  Franklin Pierce Schools and the University of Washington Tacoma have agreed to a new “Pathway to Promise” partnership that will expand post-secondary educational opportunities for all Franklin Pierce School District graduates.

The partnership will enable Franklin Pierce School District graduates to automatically be accepted as freshmen at the UW Tacoma campus if they meet agreed upon admission requirements.

Pathway to Promise is the first program of its kind in Washington state and the second in the nation that formalizes a partnership between a four-year institution and a public school district.

The Pathway to Promise partnership includes active participation from the University of Washington-Tacoma, school district leadership including high school and junior high school principals, students, parents, and the community.

To be considered for automatic admission to UW Tacoma, students need to meet the following five criteria:

  • Meet minimum course requirements
  • Have a 2.7 or higher cumulative grade point average
  • Score 480 or higher on each section of the SAT or 21 or higher on the ACT
  • Submit a complete application including a well-written personal statement
  • Enroll at UW Tacoma immediately following your senior year

“This partnership with the University of Washington-Tacoma is one more way that we are conveying to students and their parents that if they work hard, post-secondary education is attainable,” said Superintendent Frank Hewins.

Pathways to Promise is based on the work of a leading education researcher, Pat McDonough, who developed a model called Nine Elements to Support and Encourage a College-Going Culture.

These elements include:

  • College talk
  • Clear expectations
  • Information and resources
  • Comprehensive counseling
  • Testing and curriculum
  • Faculty involvement
  • College partnerships
  • Articulation (seamless experience from K-12)

Through the partnership, students are expected to have a more seamless transition to a four-year university with the overall objective of increasing the number of high school graduates from Franklin Pierce School District who earn a college degree.



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