Oregon, especially rural Oregon, is facing a crisis in college access and success. Research has shown that college student coaches have a strong impact on younger students’ aspirational goal of attaining post-secondary education. However, transportation time and costs are barriers to getting college students to rural settings. In 2012, Oregon State University Precollege Programs came up with the idea to connect OSU college student coaches to economically disadvantaged and underserved K-12 classrooms, using the videoconferencing software Skype. The college students would meet with their classrooms twice a month for one hour, and provide college-themed programming. It proved to be highly effective for both the students and the college coaches. In 2014, Precollege Programs received a grant that provided the office with an AmeriCorps member to expand the program. During the 2014-2015 school year Beaver Hangouts had 20 coaches (known as College Access Coaches) who served over 400 students in 10 Oregon public schools. Our goal for 2015-2016 is to have 30 coaches serving 600+ K-12 students.

Beaver Hangouts In The News!
Education Northwest
Oregon GEAR UP