RISE Scholars

RISE Scholars at their Fall Welcome Event

RISE stands for Rising, Inspiring & Science Excellence. A first-year experience program that serves 30-60 frosh each year who have EOP status and who are proposed majors or advising clusters within the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences (PBSci).

The RISE Scholars program, formerly the SEMILLA Scholars program, is designed to support students as they transition to UC Santa Cruz and to ensure they are successful in their aspirations to obtain a STEM degree. The program connects students to holistic counseling, peer mentoring, academic enhancement activities, and STEM-focused workshops and events. RISE Scholars will have the opportunity to build community with other STEM students in the program at the beginning of fall quarter and through their first year at UCSC. 

RISE pays homage to our roots - SEMILLA (seeds), sprouting and rising up. The RISE Scholars program was made possible through the Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Initiative called SEMILLA. SEMILLA Scholars successfully served four cohorts of students and we look forward to continuing this program in the future. Starting in 2022 - 2023 we are no longer funded through HSI and are now permanently funded through EOP. Updating the name ensures we continue to pay homage to our roots but build a legacy for this program moving forward. The program components will remain the same with the new name. As of 2023-2024, we have made it a peer coaching program - so RISE Scholars are now paired with a peer success coach (vs a peer mentor) to strategize their study skills, learning pace, and accountability toward their goals.


  • Receive guidance throughout the academic year in your transition to college and path towards a STEM degree.
  • Connections to academic and personal support resources, social activities, research opportunities, and professional development.
  • Get to know fellow STEM students and get connected to opportunities early on at UCSC!


  • Meet with a peer success coach bi-weekly.
  • Meet with an EOP Counselor two times a quarter.
  • Attend mandatory community events each quarter.
  • Attend STEM tutoring (ACE/MSI) to get support in your STEM classes.