RaiseMe Engagement Successes: Santa Monica College

“SMC consciously strives to provide support services and resources to help our students transfer to great institutions like LMU; the RaiseMe platform compliments our efforts so it just made sense for SMC to help pilot the program in Southern California,”-Janet Robinson, Transfer Center faculty leader, Santa Monica College

For the past year, the RaiseMe team has connected with community college educators all over the country to introduce how transfer micro-scholarships can play a vital part in promoting Associate’s Degree completion and transfer success. As part of National Community College Month, we’ve taken the time to reflect on the community we have built, lessons we have learned, and the successes our two year partners have had in using RaiseMe to engage students. Based on these learnings, RaiseMe has compiled best practices rooted in recommendations from front-line educators at community colleges across the nation.

Transfer Student Success at Santa Monica College

Santa Monica College (SMC), located in Los Angeles, is a RaiseMe partner that has implemented a multifaceted approach to transfer student planning, introducing micro-scholarships, as a key part of their transfer success strategy. Named as the #1 community college for transfer in California their existing strong relationships with California colleges, such as Loyola Marymount University and Whittier College, have been enhanced by the availability of RaiseMe micro-scholarships.

Tom Gutto, Loyola Marymount University’s director of transfer admission and enrollment services said: “LMU is proud to be a transfer school of choice for so many talented Santa Monica College students! LMU’s partnership with RaiseMe not only puts these students on the right path to meeting admission requirements, but also promises to ease financial obstacles along the way.”

Examples of ways that Santa Monica College has created relationships with students include:

  • Social Media & Website Announcements: SMC utilized RaiseMe’s Social Media Toolkit to announce opportunities to students, and added links to RaiseMe on their transfer website.
  • Advisor & Faculty Engagement: Space was created to allow the RaiseMe team to present to advisors, faculty, and leadership to demonstrate both the student and educator platforms. Additionally, RaiseMe was shared in planning meetings, including during conversations about Guided Pathways, highlighting how micro-scholarships support existing institutional priorities around completion, retention, and transfer. RaiseMe is available to present to your team as well, and you can spread the word too.
  • Classroom Conversations: RaiseMe makes it easy to share an announcement in your online course shell inviting students to join us. Try posting this course announcement, your students will be happy you were thinking of them.
  • Advisory Board Presentations: Santa Monica College is a member of Loyola Marymount University’s transfer advisory board. Through collaboration, LMU has consistently made space for RaiseMe to connect with all of its advisory board members.
  • Press Announcement: In collaboration with RaiseMe, SMC raised awareness of its partnership via the local media, publishing a press release about the partnership to its student and faculty community and engaging local media about the news.
  • Santa Monica College Spring 2019 College Fair: SMC invited RaiseMe to network with over 4,000 students at this event in order to connect micro-scholarships and college planning. RaiseMe had the privilege of meeting students, chatting with staff, and enjoying the sunshine!

The results

  • SMC has over 150 students using RaiseMe, who have already earned over $700k in scholarships.
  • LMU has already reported more qualified SMC applicants for Fall 2019
  • SMC faculty are using RaiseMe to connect with students, in real time, to better understand their transfer aspirations and co-curricular behaviors

Want to have success like Santa Monica College?

Join us May 6th, at 11:00am PT for our RaiseMe Community College Student webinar where you can view product updates, learn strategies to introduce RaiseMe to your students, and view best practices from other two year colleges. RSVP here. As always, RaiseMe is at no cost to community colleges and their students!

For questions regarding how your two-year college can partner with RaiseMe for free, please feel free to contact me at

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