Rhode Island Monthly Higher Learning 2014 : Page 14

• Hand selected tutors • college entrance preparation www.TutorRhodeIsland.com 401.626.6122 Pavin @ tutordoctor.com nora lewis/university of rhode island and college level courses • all ages/subjects Correction In the January issue of Rhode Island Monthly , we did not include the correct contact person for School One in our Independent Schools Open House Dates Directory. The correct contact is Julia Volynsky. Julia can be reached at 401-331-2497. We sincerely apologize for this error. to assist in examining the number of students who started college, yet did not complete their degrees. Their results show that there are more than 81,000 in Rhode Island alone, 770,000 within Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and as many as 37 million Americans who have some college credit but no degree. Other reports suggest that in Rhode Island alone, more than 115,000 people started yet did not earn a degree in college. With the number of projected high school graduates on the decline, and with a national governmental push to increase the number of college graduates by 2020, the population of those who started college yet never completed is an essential, yet often overlooked, group to target. HL: How is FWYS different from continuing education? Who is eligible for the program? DL: Continuing education can be about adults returning to school, but it is also about continuous and lifelong learning, even for those who already have degrees. FWYS takes a support-ive, nurturing, aggressive hands-on approach to fostering greater degree attainment amongst individuals who started college but did not complete it. The program initially targeted those who started college, earned seventy-five or more credits, yet did not com-plete their degrees. The program now works with anyone who started college, didn’t finish and is looking to return. HL: Why have some of these students left college without finishing their degree programs? DL: We have learned that students did not complete their degrees for many reasons — family, health, employment opportunities, learning challenges, finances, uncertain career goals and plans, poor academic performance. HL: How many students are currently enrolled in the program? DL: As of December 1, FWYS has worked with more than 625 students, re-enrolled more than 170 and graduated thirty-five. Many were previously enrolled at URI, yet others were enrolled elsewhere and saw this program as a beacon of hope. HL: Returning to finish a degree years after you’ve left college can seem daunt-ing. What types of support systems and professionals are in place to help indiv-iduals who might not know where to begin? DL: URI has learned that re-enrolling this population takes a great deal of time and attention to detail. Simply giving students a list of offices to contact does not work. However, providing a nurturing environment that walks students through the process has proven successful. The average FWYS student takes seven to ten hours of work, from initial contact to enrolling in classes. The work of the program is not done after re-enrollment, as academic skill assessment and support is essential to help students transition back to college. Time management, study skills, academic coaching and tutoring by Planning a graduation party? Occ a s ion s A How-to Guide for Every Celebration! COMING IN APRIL 14 RHODE ISL AND MONTHLY I higher le arning I 2014

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