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What Is RaiseMe for Community College Students?

Here’s how to get your community college students on a successful path to Associate’s degree completion and transfer to a four-year college with RaiseMe.

As someone that worked in community colleges for over a decade, I had the privilege of witnessing countless success stories, along with the struggles my students faced. I watched students wrestle with the difficult questions of: How will I stay on track academically? How will I balance school, work, and my family? How am I going to pay for all of this?

Feelings of self doubt were sometimes coupled with these questions. I worked in admissions for years, and as their first point of contact I’d hear students say over and over:

Well, I didn’t do well in high school, I’m not sure I’m cut out for college.

I’ve been out of school for a long time, and I’m not really sure what I’m doing. I’m not sure what all my steps are.

I want to transfer, but that seems so overwhelming, I just want to take this one class at a time.

All of those are valid feelings, and navigating higher education isn’t an intuitive task, especially for students who might be historically underserved. As a consequence, most community college students who set out to earn a degree and transfer aren’t successful. RaiseMe knows that your students are remarkably talented, and with some guidance, coaching, and affirmation they can stay on track for completion and transfer.

RaiseMe for Community College Students

RaiseMe seeks to empower students and educators by providing the opportunity to earn micro-scholarships from transfer colleges for hitting incremental academic and co-curricular milestones while completing an associate’s degree. Our intention is to provide students with a clear roadmap of habits and achievements they can aim for that will help them stay on track for completion, and eventual transfer, starting in their first semester of community college. Students use our free online portfolio to log their grades, work experience, college visits, volunteer work, and more. 

Transfer student portfolio and earnings

Each time a student enters an achievement, which can be as small as getting an “A” or “B” in a course, they earn small scholarships in real time directly from four year colleges. As students log more achievements they can earn more scholarship money, motivating them, and affirming that they are a “scholarship student”. This approach is based in Nudge Theory, which suggests that tackling large tasks with multiple, smaller “nudges” makes us more likely to be engaged, and less likely to feel overwhelmed by one large goal. 

Earning in real time!

RaiseMe for Community College Educators

Additionally, RaiseMe offers a free platform for community college educators that allows you to:

  • View the portfolios of your RaiseMe students, including their community service, student organizations, and work experience.
  • See how much your students are earning, and what colleges they are interested in transferring to.
  • Access free curriculum that can help your student learn about transfer planning, financial aid, and more!
  • Invite your students to join RaiseMe, right from your dashboard.
Educator dashboard

Educators can request accounts here, using your institutional email address: www.raise.me/educator.

Want to get your students started? We have developed our Transfers Marketing Toolkit which contains materials that you can use for:

  • New student orientation efforts, both online and in person
  • First year experience courses
  • Including RaiseMe on your website
  • Announcing RaiseMe on social media
  • Making announcements in your courses or syllabus
  • Sending email or text invitations to students
  • Incorporating RaiseMe into your transfer fairs and workshops
  • Having flyers on hand in your advising office

RaiseMe wants to partner with your community college, for free, to learn more about your goals around completion and transfer. RaiseMe partner schools have access to additionally coaching and resources, along with data on how your students are progressing. To learn more about partnering with RaiseMe contact us at ccinfo@raise.me

Tara Zirkel, Ed.D, is Senior Manager for Community College Partnerships Manager for RaiseMe. Tara has over a decade of student affairs experience in community college settings, including as the Dean of Distance Education and Education Centers at Westmoreland County Community College and as the Director of Admissions, Interim Dean of Students, Adjunct Faculty, and Interim Associate Academic Dean at the Community College of Allegheny County. She holds a doctorate of education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she researched enrollment habits of community college students.

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