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About » Welcome to a College Designed for Adults

Welcome to a College Designed for Adults

College Unbound helps adults re-enter and stay in college and get their bachelor of arts degree. The academic content and instruction build on earlier studies and life experience.


CU is a non-profit educational institution in Providence, Rhode Island. We focus on underserved student populations, in particular low-income students and students of color. College Unbound provides:

  • Access
  • Support services
  • Career counseling imbedded in the curriculum
  • Scholarships


Your interests and the needs of your workplace and community are part of your educational program. Learning takes place in the classroom, online, with peers, in the workplace, and your local community.


Improve Your Life

Our graduates improve their own lives and influence those around them:

  • Job Success: 83% of the students in the CU Solo I cohort advanced to a better position or found better employment elsewhere within their first year at CU.
  • Culture of Support: Enrolled students benefit from services such as financial fitness counseling, including how to improve credit scores, and our supportive learning environment. CU’s model involves peer-driven cohort support and the development of a mentor network.
  • Academic Support: Writing and math tutoring and testing and support for learning disabilities.
  • Next Generation: Students are often heads of households and their learning benefits their children.
  • Wider Community: Co-curricular experiences occur naturally as offshoots of student projects and deeper community involvement. Personal transformation has ripple effects.


Walking Its Talk

  • College Unbound students are deeply engaged in learning through the curriculum, according to National Survey of Student Engagement data.
  • The program is aligned with CU’s mission and is responsive to student needs, according to student surveys and interviews in 2016 and 2017.
  • CU serves its intended student population: 79% of CU students are people of color and 85% made less than $45,000 per year at time of enrollment.
  • CU has adopted a strategic plan
  • In 2015, the Rhode Island Council for Postsecondary Education granted approval for College Unbound to offer a bachelor of arts degree.
  • College Unbound is currently pursuing accreditation through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). 



  • Innovative and Creative Program Award, from New England chapter of UPCEA, an association for professional, continuing, and online education.
  • 2011 Silver Edison Award for Best New Product, "Living, Working & Learning Environments - Higher Education Systems" category, from the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), a not-for-profit group of marketing professionals and academics.
  • President Dennis Littky is a past recipient of the McGraw Prize in Education, a prestigious national award honoring some of the most innovative and forward-looking leaders in education.



  • Lumina Foundation
  • ECMC Foundation
  • van Beuren Charitable Foundation
  • The Nellie Mae Education Foundation