Welcome to College Unbound!
College Unbound is a pathway to an accredited bachelor’s degree granted by a partnering college or university. College Unbound is targeted at those who began a degree program, but were unable to finish. The multiple roles of these adult learners (workers, community members, partners, parents) are used as assets rather than barriers.
The curriculum is flexible in tone, delivery, and support. It is personalized around the unique skills, knowledge, and needs of individuals—acknowledging that students have different goals and are at different places in their lives. Specific bachelor’s program concentrations are tailored to student needs. Coursework is not separate from the student’s life—something they get to in the evenings after a full day at work when the kids have gone to bed. Instead, the learning is woven throughout the student’s day, and takes advantage of the opportunities in which that provides.
The College Unbound curriculum is not “instead of” a traditional college curriculum; it is a curriculum with its own integrity, designed for a specific population, relevant to the student, the times, and the economy. Learn more about our program’s essential PARTS.
Working with a rich Personal Learning Network, students create personal learning plans using interests, strengths and identified knowledge and skills gaps to chart a path to earning a bachelor’s degree. Prior learning experience is honored and credited. Students work their plans by engaging with a variety of online resources, courses, and discussions, participating in workplace learning experiences, and designing and completing high-interest projects. Each project has a problem to solve, research to do, people to talk to and solutions to test and revise. Learn about the transformational learning you will experience as a CU student.
Twice per semester, students demonstrate knowledge and skills through public analysis of their work. Credit is awarded when students demonstrate competencies in skills and knowledge. With this delivery model, students are able to work full-time while being full-time students. In fact, if they aren’t working full time, or are in jobs that don’t match their passions, College Unbound students find internships.
The workplace provides rich opportunities for learning. College Unbound students design projects that feed their interests, goals, and learning needs, and that also benefit the organization in which they work. A bachelor’s degree anchored in workplace learning empowers students and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. In addition, employers report that College Unbound students become better employees, demonstrating leadership, greater engagement, and growth in lifelong learning competencies.
We have designed a way to credential the intellectual, practical, and social skills that employers demand. These skills aren’t an add-on or byproduct of the curriculum—they are the curriculum. Our graduates are skilled at the Big 10 Lifelong Learning Competencies:
- integrated and applied knowledge
- critical thinking
- problem posing and solving
- advocacy for self and others
Perhaps the most important aspect of our program is that it is both high tech and high touch. We get our students online to gain specific knowledge and get them offline to apply that knowledge and develop necessary skills. While students engage with a variety of resources and with each other online, they also engage regularly face-to-face with members of their Personal Learning Network- all who are committed to their success. The team is composed of an academic advisor, a professional mentor in the workplace, content and field experts, and peers. This team is focused on growth and completion, and supports the student from enrollment through graduation.
Our students leave with the habits of mind, work, community, and leadership to be enthusiastically participatory and contributing citizens.
Though not yet accredited, College Unbound awards a Bachelor’s Degree that honors successful completion of degree requirements. This degree accompanies a Bachelor’s degree awarded by one of College Unbound’s accredited partner institutions. The student receives both degrees.
In Rhode Island, where College Unbound is housed, College Unbound maintains partnerships with Roger Williams University (for its 2009-2012 matriculating students) and has state approval to work with Charter Oak State College (for its 2013-present students). Both institutions are regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
The degree and distribution requirements discussed on the following pages act in large part as a student’s registration guide, with the understanding that students are held accountable for the policies of the partner university in which they are enrolled.
Students enrolled at a College Unbound partner institution are bound by the policies of that governing institution.