Learning for Life

Evaluation of 249 pages of data analysis, feedback, and recommendations have guided Learning 4 Life’s growth and path forward in providing holistic, comprehensive services for the 985 Learning 4 Life's Scholars served to date

Evaluation Process

Since launching in 2012, each year Learning 4 Life (L4L) has undergone an independent project evaluation by Dr. Mimi Mumm, a faculty member from RIC’s School of Social Work. The volumes of data that we collect, including each interaction with Scholars, and ongoing literature review, ensure we are providing the most potent blend of support for student success.

Encouraging Results

Results are very promising, with years of data indicating that L4L Scholars persist at higher rates than the overall RIC population, despite facing the most significant obstacles to graduation.

Key Markers of Success

Review our College Access Grant Evaluation (Year 4).

The year-to-year retention rate of L4L Scholars entering RIC in fall 2014 as full­-time, first-­time freshmen is 88.5%, an increase of 2.5% since our report for fall 2013.

Despite serving students who meet at-risk qualifiers, L4L’s retention rate is 12.3% higher than the overall RIC freshmen retention rate for students entering in fall 2014 (76.2%).

In addition to the official institutional retention rate, L4L’s project evaluator developed an additional measure of success looking beyond the cohort model. It includes students at all levels of study and captures the progress of students following a nontraditional path to graduation, with “Persistence defined as persisting into the next semester” (Mumm, 2016, personal communication).

“Learning for Life Scholars have a rate of persistence of eighty-four percent…The L4L persistence rate is higher than persistence rate for the RIC campus in general” (Mumm, 2016, p. 23-24).

The full evaluation report provides rates for specific groups, such as persistence by GPA, age, ethnicity and class status.

Since L4L’s start, 123 Senior or Master’s level students have been hired and trained to serve as Network Navigators, providing them internship opportunities and a professional certificate of undergraduate studies.

The experience of more than 12 L4L Scholars was so positive that they applied and were hired and trained to become Navigators.

L4L has achieved national recognition through the AASCU Innovation Exchange. 


Social Work Today

Education Meets Social Work on the College Campus

"One state college has actively experimented with this coupling of education and social work, and significantly closed gaps in achievement rates. Rhode Island College (RIC), the state’s oldest (1854) comprehensive public postsecondary institution, enjoys a long history as a “college of opportunity” for first-generation college students. The Learning for Life (L4L) network is a research-based, student-to-student initiative designed to seed innovation and collaboration across campus to support underrepresented students in completing college."

Social Work Today

Social Workers in Higher Education - New Roles, New Opportunities

"Changes in America's colleges and universities have created opportunities for social workers to pursue social justice in higher education while addressing the schools' and students' emerging needs. Institutions of higher education today aim to survive in the face of fewer high school graduates and larger numbers of college students who, for many reasons, are at risk of not completing their degrees."

Annenberg Institute for School Reform

Latino Student Success Pilot at RIC

"The Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) is a national policy-research and reform-support organization affiliated with Brown University that focuses on improving conditions and outcomes for all students in urban public schools, especially those attended by traditionally underserved children. AISR’s vision is the transformation of traditional school systems into “smart education systems” that develop and integrate high-quality learning opportunities in all areas of students’ lives – at school, at home, and in the community."

Rhode Island College entrance

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Learning 4 Life

We are here to connect students to on and off campus resources and opportunities to empower and overcome life obstacles on their journey to graduation.