RISE for the Community

Image of downtown Seattle and Mount Rainier at sunset to indicate community

Community engagement and enrichment is a core theme of Bellevue College. The college strives to be a leader and a partner in building a vibrant region. It collaborates with social service organizations, business and trade groups, government agencies, and other schools and colleges to develop and refine educational programs that prepare individuals for academic success, employment, and lifelong learning.

The RISE Learning Institute is at the center of this work. RISE builds and nurtures partnerships between the college and the greater community.

BC aims to be the region’s college of choice, and it seeks to support the community that supports it. The RISE Learning Institute knows that BC students have profound learning experiences when they are engaged first-hand in internships, project-based learning, and service opportunities that address issues in our communities. BC students acquire a sense of civic responsibility, apply and deepen their learning, and make a real impact. In return, our partners benefit from the research and service contributions of our students and faculty. Furthermore, BC fuels the region’s economic vitality: our student interns make important contributions at dozens of organizations, our alumni start new businesses and contribute valuable ideas to existing ones, and our programs produce graduates with the skills needed in our communities.

RISE is for the community.

RISE is Research

RISE works with research organizations and community partners in many ways.  We:

  • Help you strategize and, when needed, connect you to the right parties on campus.
  • Build formal collaborations and partnerships, such as our faculty’s affiliation with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute.
  • Provide logistical support and letters of commitment to organizations looking to recruit diverse community college students for research opportunities.
  • Rent out laboratory space for partners conducting research in the life sciences.
  • Engage in community-based research by working with partners on research issues facing their organizations or their communities.

RISE is Innovation

RISE is a passionate supporter of organizations that promote social and economic innovation.  We partner with incubators, accelerators, and similar networks that are interested in working with innovative BC students and faculty.  For example, RISE co-sponsored the first annual Bellevue Tech Expo at ExtraSlice to build connections between BC students and startup firms and social ventures, and we are supporting the efforts of students who are bringing a CodeDay event to the Eastside. We are also especially interested in social innovation and social entrepreneurship.

In addition, we seek to create spaces that facilitate innovation on our own campus.

RISE is Service

By bringing students into the community, RISE enhances student learning while supporting non-profit and government organizations doing incredible work.  Whether they are fighting injustice or providing social services, educating the region’s future leaders or protecting the region’s ecosystems, feeding the needy or housing the homeless, the organizations on the Eastside and across King County do amazing things, and BC and RISE work to support them.

Academic Engagement: Community agencies have many different ways to engage with classes here at Bellevue College, and thus help to shape the ways in which our students connect with the world around them. We are always looking for guest speakers, mentorship, shadowing, and more. Agencies can pose questions that give guidance to student projects. Or they can invite students to visit. Perhaps the most meaningful form of engagement is through service-learning.

Community-Engaged & Civic Education: This teaching methodology, which includes service-learning, integrates community-based service into a classroom syllabus. The experiences that come from volunteering with your agency help students better understand their learning content in context, build much-desired transferable skills, and contribute to a sense of civic responsibility. Students can volunteer at the ground level with your agency, create products or offer support, assist with community outreach and education, and more. Project and volunteering opportunities can range from writing to interior design, from environmental sustainability to IT support, from immigrant storytelling to math tutoring, and everywhere in between. We see our partner agencies as co-educators in the process of building connections between the classroom and the community.

Resources for Current Partners: Bellevue College works with agencies throughout the greater King County region. If your agency already partners with us, here are some resources:

  • BC in the Community, also known as our Galaxy Digital service-learning portal, allows you to list your current and upcoming volunteer opportunities and events. Students can sign up and post hours toward these opportunities. Additionally, all service-learning classes utilize this system to facilitate the placement process. BC in the Community is an excellent way for your organization to market itself to the BC community. NOTE: Agencies must contact RISE before they can sign up for this service.
  • HANDSHAKE is the best way for an agency to post job and internship opportunities for BC students.
  • Our Service-Learning Partner Manual [PDF] gives information about our students and our processes.
  • These FAQs [PDF] help explain how our partner agencies can best use the BC in the Community portal.

For more information about how you can partner with BC and RISE on classroom-based service-learning projects, please contact Community-Engaged & Civic Education (CECE)

RISE is Experiential Learning

The RISE Learning Institute connects BC to companies and community organizations throughout the region via experiential learning opportunities.  The most common of these is internships, which provide students with professional development in a field of interest while building their skills and professional connections.  Internship providers gain someone who is willing to learn and contribute to the organization for a short period of time, while they help to nurture potential leaders in their field.

Internships are managed through Bellevue College’s Center for Career Connections, which is a part of RISE. Visit the Academic Internship Program site for more information about how to become an internship partner. Feel free to also register for HANDSHAKE, Bellevue College’s job and internship portal.

If you have any questions about internships at Bellevue College, please contact internships@bellevuecollege.edu or call us at 425.564.2279

Last Updated December 7, 2023