Ready to Rise Initiative

Oftentimes, low-income students get to college without a support network of friends or family members knowledgeable about college life.  That leaves them with nowhere to turn when they struggle with the transition to college and navigating through the college system.

Ready to Rise, led by Degrees of Change, will receive nearly $3.4 million over five years to help low-income students from Tacoma, Vancouver, and Yakima stay on track and graduate from college.

Ready to Rise is a cohort-based program in which groups of students graduating from the same community and heading off to the same college receive a range of services including peer and adult mentoring, college readiness and academic supports, help in navigating college-based services, and leadership training.  This model calls on a collaborative effort between colleges and community organizations to work together to improve the success of local college students. Ready to Rise students will attend one of seven colleges that are partnering with the program, including:

  • Central Washington University
  • Clark College
  • Tacoma Community College
  • University of Washington – Tacoma
  • Washington State University – Vancouver
  • Western Washington University
  • Yakima Valley College

As students transition from high school to college, peer relationships become increasingly important.  A key feature of cohort-based programs is that participating students develop a close network of peers who provide mutual support and accountability. This program helps students develop a sense of purpose that incorporates the goal of earning a college degree.

To learn more, contact Heather Gingerich, visit the Ready to Rise website, or read a one page description of the program.