RISE for Students

RISE Student Space

Bellevue College prides itself in preparing its students for life after college. It offers a variety of innovative classes for all students, no matter their age, experience, or ability. In order to promote a more varied learning experience, Bellevue College also recognizes the importance of educational opportunities that utilize hands-on approaches. Project-based learning. Undergraduate research. Internships. Community-based research. Service-learning and civic education. Capstones. Citizen science. These are all ways to transform learning, to apply classroom theory to real-world situations, and to become more engaged both with course material and the community.

The RISE Learning Institute supports student learning by working with faculty, community partners, and the students themselves to provide a variety of opportunities that extend learning beyond the lecture.  RISE wants your BC education to include experiences that are truly transformative.

RISE is for students.

RISE is Research

The RISE Learning Institute empowers BC faculty and students interested in research.

What is Undergraduate Research?

Undergraduate research is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. At Bellevue College, research can be a part of a course, an independent study with a faculty member, an activity of a student club, or an off-campus internship or experience. Undergraduate research elevates student engagement and excitement about learning and discovery.

Participating in an undergraduate research opportunity has been shown to increase student learning outcomes and facilitate the development of critical 21st century skills such as project management, problem solving, communication, collaboration and a strong work ethic. Doing undergraduate research is a chance to get experience in the actual process and practice of a field of study and to make a genuine contribution that advances that field. It builds real-world professional skills and can open doors for transfer to a four-year institution, for graduate school, or for research based careers.

RISE is here to help you take advantage of the research opportunities available here at BC.

Explore the undergraduate research gallery 

Explore what undergraduate students presented at the University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposium last year and see what kinds of research projects BC students are engaged in.

Join a student club that has a research focus

Psi Beta Honor Society

Psi Beta is the national honor society in psychology for students in two-year colleges.

The mission of Psi Beta Honor Society is to promote professional development of psychology students in two-year colleges through promotion and recognition of excellence in scholarship, leadership, research, and community service. Advisors: Rika Meyer and Deepthi Karkhanis

Read an article about how three BC students presented their research at the Western Psychology Association’s Annual Conference in Sacramento, CA.

Take a research based course

CHEM 272: Undergraduate Research in Chemistry (6 cr), Offered Winter Quarter or BIOL 275: Laboratory Methods in Genomics (6 cr.), Offered Fall, Winter, and Spring. *Note: BIOL 211 utilizes this same laboratory curriculum and allows students to contribute to this research on a slightly smaller scale.Read about how challenging and rewarding doing undergraduate research is in this BC student’s own words as they reflect on their experience in both BIO 211 and BIOL 275.

Explore off-campus research opportunities

RISE is Innovation

Here at RISE, we believe that student-driven innovation, discovery, and creativity should be core to the BC experience.

RISE MakerSpace

Build. Something. Awesome.

The RISE MakerSpace helps students turn ideas into realities. The MakerSpace prepares students for the future by allowing them to explore new technologies, empowering them to create and innovate, and helping them build something awesome. Students from all backgrounds, majors, and skill levels belong here. Join us for Electrified Pumpkins. For Plarn Bedrolls. For pre-Comic Con Costume-Making. For Game Jams. Hey BC students, if you can dream it, the RISE MakerSpace can help you make it.

3, 2, 1. Blast off!

The RISE Makerspace also hosts BC’s Rocketry & Aerospace Club, a group of students who build and launch high-powered rockets. Now that BC is a member of the Washington Space Grant Consortium, we even have NASA money for rocket parts! The club currently meets every Wednesday at 3:30 in the RISE Makerspace, B237. To learn more, send a quick message to rockets@bellevuecollege.edu.

RISE is Service

The What, Why, and How of Making a Community Impact

For a broad community to support all people, it requires coordination between government, businesses, nonprofits, schools, houses of worship, neighborhoods, healthcare, and individuals. Put technically, communities function when the public sector, the private sector, and the civil society support each other.

The individual – you – are the glue that holds all three pieces together. Your voice and taxes determine priorities in the public sector. Your money and choices shape the private sector. And your assistance and responsiveness bolster civil society. You play an essential role in ensuring that the community supports not only your interests but also the interests of everyone. Unfortunately, not all individuals have the same power behind their voice or money or responsiveness.

This is why devoting time and energy to creating a civic impact is so important. One way to make this impact is to take a community-engaged & civic education (CECE) class at Bellevue College. But hopefully this is just the beginning.

Click here to learn more about different ways you can make an impact in your community.

What is Community-Engaged & Civic Education?

Community-Engaged & Civic Education (CECE) allows you, the student, to apply what you’re learning in class to a real life situation. In essence, the world around you becomes another textbook on your way to meeting the goals of your course. Through traditional service-learning, you go out into the surrounding community (or maybe on campus somewhere) to help meet the need of an organization or a social group while also increasing your own understanding of the topics in your class. For your marketing class, you might come up with an outreach strategy for an organization that supports immigrants.  Or volunteer at a soup kitchen throughout the quarter to better understand food insecurity as part of your nutrition class.  You might design a community garden alongside veterans for a sustainability program. Or give much appreciated company to homeless teens for a sociology class. You might also work alongside an organization for your community-engaged research course, or change minds and behaviors of your personal communities through your civic education course. No matter what you do in your CECE course, you will make the community around you a better place, learn more about social and/or environmental issues, and walk away from your class with a stronger application of its concepts and theories. Plus, service-learning looks good on résumés and transfer applications!

Group of students and faculty working with plastic
Classes across disciples coming together to help turn plastic bags into bed mats for people experiencing homelessness.

Your instructor is here to support you in making this a robust learning opportunity for you. Don’t hesitate to talk with them with any questions or concerns. And if you have questions about CECE more generally, stop by our office (B241) or send us an email.

What classes offer Community-Engaged & Civic Education?

Check out this list of awesome classes RISE supported during Spring quarter. Switch tabs to get to the list of CECE course. These may be eligible for the transcript notation in service-learning. The list is updated at the start of each quarter.

What is the “transcript notation for service-learning”?

Bellevue College wants to officially recognize the amazing work you’ve done in your CECE course by giving you a special notation on your transcript. This notation will appear as a note on your transcript next to your class that says “Demonstrated excellence in service-learning by contributing meaningfully to the community, practicing essential skills and civic-mindedness, and learning through deep reflection.” We use the term “service-learning” rather than “CECE” because it is more recognizable to transfer institutions and employers.

When you put your CECE coursework on your resume or your transfer application, this special note confirms that you did, indeed, do the community and civic engagement, and thus gained valuable skills and life experience in the process. If you want help with how to incorporate CECE and service-learning into your resume or application, reach out to the Center for Career Connections.

To qualify for the transcript notation, you must:

  1. Take a course with a robust CECE component
  2. Complete the community-engaged or civic component, as designed by the instructor and approved by an independent committee
  3. Demonstrate learning by completing all relevant assignments with adequate depth and reflection, as determined by the instructor

If a course you’re taking seems like a great candidate to offer the transcript notation, let the instructor know to reach out to RISE. And if you are uncertain about whether you qualify, check with your instructor and/or with RISE.

What is BC in the Community?

BC in the Community is Bellevue College’s service-learning and volunteer portal. It currently lists nearly 150 nonprofit and government agencies from throughout the region – Everett to Covington, North Bend to Burien – and home on campus. These agencies provide volunteer opportunities to help students build their own “service resumes” that can go with them when they leave the college.

For your traditional service-learning class, you will likely be asked to use this portal. For more information about how to master it, check out the BC in the Community page, which has guides, frequently asked questions, and videos. If you have any questions, ask your instructor or reach out to RISE.

What if I want to volunteer outside of my course?

Great question! We strongly encourage everyone to consider volunteering regularly, as the Seattle area and the Eastside are vibrant communities that could always use support from passionate people like you.

If you’re interested in volunteering off-campus on your own, you can do one of two things:

  1. Register with BC in the Community. The agencies regularly post upcoming and ongoing volunteer opportunities. If you don’t find something you like, you can reach out to the agencies directly to start a conversation. Check out videos about how to use portal for general volunteering.
  2. RISE offers in-person and remote volunteer advising. Book an appointment through the Center for Career Connections. If this slot does not work for you, contact Community-Engaged & Civic Education (CECE) to chat at another time.

If you’re interested in volunteering on-campus (remember, BC is a community too!), then visit the BC in the Community portal for opportunities at the college.

Students can now earn badges in the BC in the Community portal for volunteering for a certain number of hours throughout the year. The hours can come from service-learning classes or from general volunteering. The badges would then appear in the volunteer resume, found on the portal and downloadable as a PDF.

Bronze badge for 25 hours
Silver badge for 50 hours
Gold badge for 100 hours

What about volunteering on campus?

There are some opportunities on campus. You can find many of them under “Bellevue College” in BC in the Community. Some of the offices you can possibly volunteer with are:

Additionally, you can support Bellevue College’s Bags to Bedrolls Project (photo above), focused on reducing plastic waste while also helping people experiencing homelessness. No experience necessary, though if you like to be “craftsy” or even crochet, consider joining the Project!

RISE is Experiential Learning

Networking & Job Fair

Looking for a job? Something seasonal in the Summer? The start of a career post-BC? Join the Center for Career Connections and the RISE Learning Institute on Wednesday, May 19, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., for the Annual Networking & Job Fair. Come prepared! Attend workshops to get your resume, networking skills, and interviewing ready.

Go to the Center for Career Connections website for a complete schedule of events and to register.


Internships are one of the most impactful forms of experiential education. The Academic Internship Program, which is part of RISE’s Center for Career Connections, helps students in all majors connect to internships and other experiential learning opportunities. You can schedule an appointment with an internship specialist by calling 425.564.2279, visiting the Center for Career Connections in B231, or emailing internships@bellevuecollege.edu.

In addition, the Center for Career Connections runs a fantastic job and internship board, HANDSHAKE, and you should definitely check out the impressive array of internship opportunities listed there.

Service-Learning at BC:

Logo for BC in the Community with writing in red and a red image of Western Washington with a blue tab with the Bellevue College logo

Explore volunteer and service-learning opportunities!

RISE MakerSpace–3D printing, virtual reality, sewing & costumes!

Student Research Gallery
Browse student research posters

Last Updated December 7, 2023