At the core of the University’s mission is providing access to higher education for all Rhode Islanders regardless of ethnicity, age or socioeconomic background. To further that mission, Rhode Island Office of Higher Education awarded the University a federal College Access Challenge Grant. Launched in 2012, the grant unites two campus, more than five departments and a staff of about 20 to focus exclusively on recruiting and retaining historically underrepresented students. With a heavy emphasis on delivering coordinated comprehensive services to students, the $1.6 million initiative was named Project Recruit and Educate Local At-risk Adults and Youth, or RELAAY for short.
The project targets three populations of at-risk students. A bolstered Talent Development program serves traditional-age students, the Finish-What-You-Started program assists adults looking to complete their degrees after a break in their education, and the Providence campus provides proactive support to enrolled adult students facing academic challenges. The project is led by Provost Donald DeHayes.
This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education College Access Challenge Grant program via the R.I. Office of the Post-Secondary Commissioner.