They’re Raving About It

Mark Milliron Catalytic Conversations Civitas Learning Space

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We’ve taken some time in this blog to discuss the use of gaming in education, as well as working to use alternative strategies to connect with hyper-connected students. We’ve shown some of the unique strategies to reach out to post-modern student interests with viral marketing and more engaging content. But now comes the Rave! While visiting the good folks at South Texas College (STC), I heard about the results of their new strategy to reach out to younger students. For those who don’t know, STC was formed thanks to the leadership of former Governor Ann Richards and others in an effort to better meet the educational needs of the Rio Grande Valley area—a predominantly Mexican-American community. It has grown from a bold idea in 1992 to a thriving institution of more than 18,000 students today, offering everything from certifications to four-year degrees. It is proof positive that we underestimate the educational needs and capabilities of minority populations all too often. And when tapped, amazing things can happen in terms of supporting human potential and expanding workforce development. Anyway, about the Rave. I was present for their all-college convocation when they announced the results of this innovative strategy. They held an all-night Rave Registration, allowing students to do everything from admissions to paying for classes—at 3:00 am if they wanted to—with food, fun, music, and lots of college support. Some folks thought that the student services folks where out of their minds for proposing this, that only a handful of students would even be interested. They ended up with close to 500!! All night Rave Registrations. Talk about 24/7 student services! I love it.
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