GradGuru Technology Acquisition Will Allow Beyond 12 to Reach More Students Faster, Provide Critical Support During COVID-19 Campus Closures
Oakland, CA (May 13, 2020) –– Industry-leading college completion organization Beyond 12 publicly announced today the acquisition of GradGuru, an award-winning mobile community college persistence platform. This acquisition will help Beyond 12 expand their coaching platform on an accelerated timeline –– doubling their current reach –– in order to meet the needs of 1 million students annually by 2025. This growth comes at a critical time when students are unsure of when they will return to their campuses and are relying on the virtual coaching Beyond 12 offers to stay on track to college graduation.
“Both GradGuru and Beyond 12 feel the urgency of our shared mission now more than ever. Each year, too many college students, especially first-generation students and students from under-resourced communities, struggle to reach their academic and career goals, and earn a degree,” explained Beyond 12 Founder and CEO Alexandra Bernadotte. “Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has isolated students from essential guidance and support, their years of hard work are in jeopardy. The stories we hear from our students every day solidified our decision to take this extraordinary opportunity to serve more students faster by leveraging GradGuru’s platform and their founder’s remarkable insights about serving community college students.”
Beyond 12 recently announced the launch of a COVID-19 Virtual Coaching Corps to coach an additional 20,000 students impacted by campus closures; a COVID-19 Student Relief Fund to award micro-grants to students dealing with unexpected financial challenges; and a student resource guide to help address the shortage of clear, accurate information about the pandemic and its impact on students’ college and career plans. The GradGuru acquisition laid the groundwork for the organization to be prepared for a quick ramp up to reach even more students just as the crisis hit.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome,” commented GradGuru CEO Catalina Ruiz-Healy. “Beyond 12 and GradGuru embody the same passion to support talented young people on their journeys to graduation. We are thrilled to now be a part of Beyond 12 to continue to strengthen Beyond 12’s innovative platform and support more students when they need it most, all thanks to Alex’s fearless leadership.”
This is Beyond 12’s first technology acquisition and represents a desire of both mission-driven organizations to combine forces to become more effective with resources to scale faster and reach more students. Both Beyond 12 and GradGuru were founded and led by women of color, with Beyond 12 CEO Alex Bernadotte being one of only a small group of female CEOs of color to raise more than $20M in outside capital.
GradGuru’s student-facing platform uses sophisticated technology and the latest research on behavioral nudges to turn smartphones into cutting edge community college completion toolboxes. Its features had already been identified by Beyond 12 as impactful additions to their current product offerings.
About Beyond 12
Beyond 12 is a high-tech, high-touch coaching platform that helps high schools, college access programs, and colleges provide their students with the academic, social, and emotional support they need to succeed in higher education. Founded by Alexandra Bernadotte in 2009, Beyond 12 works to dramatically increase the number of historically under-represented students who graduate from college. For more information about Beyond 12, visit www.beyond12.org.
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