The cost of tuition is constantly rising and unfortunately many are unable to pursue a higher education. Tulsa Community College, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has created an innovative way to help students further their education through a volunteer program called “Tulsa Achieves”. Students in Tulsa County can have up to 63 units or three years tuition and fees paid for in exchange for 40 hours of volunteering per year. Through this program, students are able to receive a higher education and are inspired to make a significant contribution to their community.
Students joining “Tulsa Achieves” are not only granted access to a college education, but also take part in an agreement between the student, college and community. The school takes the student’s commitment to the program seriously and will hold the student responsible for their volunteer hours, teaching them to be accountable for their actions as well as giving back to their community.
Currently, Tulsa has over 2,870 students participating in the “Tulsa Achieves” program. Since the program’s inception, participants have racked up about 146,540 hours which based on the average cost of tuition and fees, is equivalent to $9,645,996 covered by the program, and it continues to grow.
The school has teamed up with VolunteerMatch to provide a site for students to find opportunities and track their hours in one place. Students can track hours and access volunteering opportunities through a customized VolunteerMatch site specifically for the “Tulsa Achieves” program. The causes the school encourages students to get involved in center around education, social services and hospitals. Tulsa County volunteering opportunities are automatically filtered into “Tulsa Achieves” for students to pick and choose how they will volunteer their 40 hours.
Tulsa Community College has placed great emphasis on teaching their students not only in the classroom but also how to be engaged members of their community. In 1971, Tulsa County residents voted to have part of their property tax go towards Tulsa Community College. The school created “Tulsa Achieves” in 2007 to give back to the community that has supported them by encouraging volunteering, while providing students greater access to a higher education.
Interested in learning more about how VolunteerMatch helps colleges and universities engage students, faculty and staff in volunteering? Click here to check it out!