Learning for Life Earns College Visions Award

From left to right: Gary Penfield, RIC vice president for student affairs; Ron Pitt, RIC vice president for academic affairs; Lisa Smolski, RIC director of research and college initiatives; Learning for Life educational support facilitators Kelly McNulty and LaTanya Monteiro; Chris Lambert, Learning for Life project director; and Emily Rodriguez, College Visions College Access Program director.

From left to right: Gary Penfield, RIC vice president for student affairs; Ron Pitt, RIC vice president for academic affairs; Lisa Smolski, RIC director of research and college initiatives; Learning for Life educational support facilitators Kelly McNulty and LaTanya Monteiro; Chris Lambert, Learning for Life project director; and Emily Rodriguez, College Visions College Access Program director.

 

Learning for Life, RIC’s comprehensive community and college partnership that assists students in removing obstacles to academic success, has won the 2014 College Visions College Access Award.

College Visions, a nonprofit that promotes college enrollment for low-income and first-generation students, annually recognizes an organization whose innovations assist disadvantaged students in completing their college education.

Christiane Petrin Lambert, project director for Learning for Life, said that the award is a true honor.

“College Visions is the first college access program in this state to have an on-campus involvement, so the fact that they would recognize us as innovators is really delightful,” she said.

Learning for Life uses a multifaceted approach to help at-risk students keep education as a priority in their lives. The program connects students to services and supports that help them build financial foundations and align their academic plans with future career goals.

By collaborating with College Visions, the College Crusade and Goodwill Industries of Rhode Island, Learning for Life is able to link students to a broad range of assistance services, eliminate assistance program overlaps and create a holistic network of student support.

College Visions has just finished its first year as a Learning for Life partner. Executive Director Simon Moore called working with RIC’s program a “privilege” and praised its “direct student support, community partnership and institutional change strategies.”

“Learning for Life has developed a novel approach to addressing the challenge of increasing degree attainment for talented disadvantaged youth,” Moore said. “I am thrilled to honor its innovation, hard work and deep commitment to students.”

The students, dubbed Learning for Life scholars, work with Learning for Life navigators – trained peers who support fellow students – as well as Learning for Life staff, campus resources and community partners to plan for their academic and financial future.

College Visions has a staff member who works on campus as a community navigator to College Access graduates who are enrolled at Rhode Island College. A portion of that salary is funded through a Learning for Life grant.

College Visions’ College Access Program provides students with a one-on-one advisor relationship to address obstacles that commonly prohibit disadvantaged youth from entering and completing college.