Robin Hood $5 Million College Success Challenge Announces Semi-Finalists

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Robin Hood $5 Million College Success Challenge Announces Semi-Finalists

By Mary Jo Madda (Columnist)     Aug 13, 2014

Robin Hood $5 Million College Success Challenge Announces Semi-Finalists

This morning, the New York City-based Robin Hood Foundation announced 18 semi-finalists for its $5 million "College Success" prize. The prize invited applications proposing “an innovative, scalable and technology-enabled tool to improve the academic performance of underprepared college students.”

Robin Hood selected semi-finalists from a pool of 104 applicants, nearly half of whom submitted applications with tools specifically designed for this competition. 30% applied with existing products, while the remaining applicants submitted product proposals adapted from current technologies.

Below is the list of the semi-finalists.

Beyond12 produces the “MyCoach” app, which helps students keep track of deadlines and milestones, and, based on the college students are attending, provides them with personalized tools and tips to help navigate their college experience.

Carney Labs LLC’s proposed a “College Champion” product, which will address common college freshman obstacles such as time management, scheduling priorities, and community-building with other students at CUNY campuses.

Core Skills Mastery (CSM) is a free web-based course that monitors and responds to student issues in key math and literacy skills with an adaptive learning engine.

Dedicated is a goal-tracking mobile app for community college students.

EdReady is a math assessment readiness system, training students for the math portion of placement exams like AccuPlacer, Compass, and the ACT.

Education Advisory Board (EAB) has built a platform that supports students in tracking their goals and the pathway to achieving those goals.

GetSet is an app that connect students with others who share the same goals and challenges.

GradGuru is a free app that helps college students track school deadlines, connect with advisors, and earn rewards for assignment completion.

JumpCourse offers online, adaptive CLEP, Advanced Placement, and DSST prep courses. These courses include videos, eBooks, and hundreds of interactives for students to use.

Kinvolved is an app that increases attendance and real-time communication among student support networks, such as between parents and teachers.

Kipin Hall is a mobile and web-based app that supports collaboration between students and their instructors.

KnowRe is an online adaptive learning program for mathematics that assesses a student’s strengths and weaknesses.

LimeSpring provides a developmental math remediation platform that can be used to create a blended learning environment.

GPS LifePlan, the online “Goals + Plans = Success” tracker, proposes improvements to the existing customer relationship management system will increase usage and enhance the effect of participation.

Persistence Plus LLC is a mobile platform that uses transformative behavioral interventions to track student behavior in school.

Ponder is a platform that measures reading activity and promotes understanding, sharing, and discussion around coursework, career and life.

Stanford Interventions Lab proposed a project that aims to create a targeted and tailored mobile phone intervention, aimed at addressing some of the underlying psychological barriers affecting college readiness and retention.

InfoMe will design a platform with an in-course success tool, and a course selection planning tool, designed to help students effectively identify, evaluate, and process the multitude of choices they are asked to make.

Semifinalists will receive $40,000 in development funds, coaching, and an invitation to an ideas42 behavioral economics workshop, where they will learn how best to design a product for the consumer.

The teams will have five months to continue developing their products before Robin Hood’s Showcase Day in January 2015. At Showcase Day, the semifinalists will present their solution to the Judging Panel, who will select up to three finalists at the event. Those finalists will receive an additional $60,000 and more opportunities for coaching in preparation for a 3-year randomized controlled trial, during which full-time students taking remedial courses at the community colleges of CUNY (City University of New York) will try out the tools.

To learn more about the prize or any specific semi-finalists, please visit Robin Hood’s Prize Site.

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