By Rebecca Osowski and Ashley Gochinski – Features Editor and 1851 Contributor
RIZE is an organization working to provide students with access to majors their college may not offer. RIZE consists of partnership colleges and universities around the United States that have access to their plug-in module courses. These courses take an ordinary major and turn it into specific course content that is applicable to an individual field.
Lasell offers five courses through RIZE: supply chain management, esports and gaming administration, human resources, professional sales, and certified financial planning. These course meetings are held via Zoom once a week, are flexible to your schedule, and are usually eight to 14 weeks in length.
Professor of Fashion Merchandising and Management and Fashion Media and Marketing Catharine Weiss acts as Lasell’s RIZE Coordinator. As coordinator, Weiss’ main responsibility is to connect students and the Lasell community with RIZE, acting as a communication liaison.
Weiss values the opportunity for students to be involved in RIZE education as they are expanding their academic resources while being exposed to new people and new ideas. “[RIZE] offers us a multitude of curriculum and major opportunities that we wouldn’t necessarily be able to build up to fast enough… [RIZE] helps us offer majors that are relevant and applicable… and really makes our students marketable,” Weiss said.
Sophomore business management major Emily Chaffee is a Student Ambassador for the organization and has taken the professional sales course in the past. Her role is to inform the Lasell community about RIZE, making these options easier for students to access.
“I stepped into this role because I enjoyed the course I’ve taken through RIZE. The professors are skilled in the subjects they teach…and are knowledgeable about how to prepare you for the workforce,” Chaffee said.
According to Weiss, courses offered through RIZE are developed by “rockstar professors,” who are experts in their field. When developing the supply chain management courses, Weiss worked with Rudi Leuschner, associate professor and program director of the master’s program in supply chain management at Rutgers University.
“You have this incredible, invaluable content from a professor that you probably wouldn’t even interact with during your college career. And you have this really great opportunity where you’re exposed to this amazing content and strategy…” Weiss said.
In addition to classes, RIZE offers events such as a week-long seminar with five nightly events aimed at providing information to students that will set them apart in their industry. This year, RIZE Week included panels called ‘How to Build a Better Instagram,’ ‘Majors Every Undecided Should Consider,’ ‘How To Turn Your Degree Into A Career,’ ‘Found It! How Entrepreneurs Start Companies,’ and a comedy show.
Whereas courses through RIZE must apply to your major, events like RIZE Week are open to all students at the partnership college or university. “The events RIZE has are very beneficial to college students, they only want to prepare [students] for the workforce,” Chaffee said.
Most of the courses offered through RIZE at Lasell are business focused. Because of the opportunities provided by the organization, Chaffee hopes more courses will be developed outside the business field and both Lasell and RIZE will continue to expand its offerings.
Weiss agrees the opportunities are important to our community, “the ability to exchange ideas… and become a smaller college with all of these different institutions that are out there is really cool,” Weiss said.
The RIZE team will be visiting campus on November 12, offering students free professional headshots, meeting with current RIZE students and connecting with other students interested in RIZE. The purpose of this visit will be to gather information on how to improve their student experience and show their commitment to and support of their partner schools and students.
If interested in RIZE, contact Catharine Weiss at firstname.lastname@example.org or Emily Chaffee at email@example.com for more information.