Roadmap for Academic Success

Leave it to URI to take the potholes out of the road to academic success.

Deborah Grossman-Garber, director of URI student learning, outcomes assessment, and accreditation; URI professors Catherine English, food science and nutrition; Marion Goldsmith, biology; Carolyn Hames, nursing; Thomas Husband, natural resource science; Daniel Murray and Anne Veeger, geology; and Katherine Petersson, veterinary science are eight of 11 principal investigators from URI and the Community College of Rhode Island collaborating on an Academic Roadmap project that will improve academic advising and better align the curricula between the two schools. The goal is to improve access to higher education and ensure that more students stay in college and graduate on time.

The project is supported by a $643,000 grant from the Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education and was one of just 16 projects awarded from a pool of more than 400.

The federal grant program funds innovative reform projects that hold promise for the resolution of important issues and problems in postsecondary education—projects that can serve as models across the nation.

Grossman-Garber et al are developing Web-based roadmaps that guide students along their educational routes. The roadmaps, prepared by experts in each field, guide students through their chosen academic discipline, tell them about co-curricular and experiential learning opportunities, give career placement advice, and much more.

High school students and their families curious about a major, current students mapping out a course of study, students gathering information on which course to choose, guidance counselors, college advisors, and others interested in learning more about a program can easily access the roadmap.

Building upon a “roadmap template” created in 2006 for the URI fields of wildlife conservation, nutrition and dietetics, animal sciences and geosciences, roadmaps are being developed for the fields of nursing and biology.