Opportunity Programs

Access to Opportunity (CCRI)
Access to Opportunity is a federally funded retention program designed to serve Community College of Rhode Island students who qualify as low income, first generation in college, or having a documented disability.  The goals of the program are to help students improve academic skills, establish clear career goals, and develop the maturity and independence necessary to succeed in college.  Adjustment counseling, academic advising, career exploration, financial aid advising, tutoring and cultural awareness opportunities are provided.  Students are also assisted in their efforts to explore and transfer to programs at four-year colleges and universities.  Information may be obtained from the program office.  Contact:Tracy Karasinski, CCRI, 400 East Avenue, Warwick, RI 02886., 401- 825-2305, www.ccri.cc.ri.us

AT EASE (University of Rhode Island/College of Continuing Education)
AT EASE is a Saturday morning program to encourages Rhode Island’s minority and disadvantaged youth in grades six through eleven to consider the necessary steps toward educational opportunities.  Over eight Saturday mornings AT EASE explores each person’s personal and academic strengths and weaknesses through an interactive English/Writing seminar that includes self-awareness and self-esteem sessions.  Students will be asked to examine selected readings, music and theater productions that will be used to explore positive life choices.  A representative of the theater community works with teachers and students to incorporate class readings and discussions into a final production.  Students will be given the opportunity to attend various education information sessions that will apprise them of resource programs available.  In addition, students visit the URI Kingston Campus for a full day of college-based activities including a tour, meeting current Talent Development students, and attending a URI function.  For more information contact AT EASE, URI Providence Center, 80 Washington St, Providence, RI 02903-1903.

Bridge to Success (Roger Williams University)
The Bridge to Success program offers school-year tutoring and mentoring(facilitated by RWU students), workshops and activities to students at Rogers High School in Newport.  Bridge to Success also includes a Summer Academy which is a two-week summer program for students who will be entering their senior year.  It provides preparatory workshops on the college search process, college-level writing and math courses, and field trips.  Parents of students in the program meet monthly and participate in an annual parent/student conference.  Contact Lisa Scott at the Office of Multicultural Affairs, RWU, One Old Ferry Road, Bristol, RI 02809-2921, or call 401-254-3317 for more information.

College Readiness Program (University of Rhode Island)
The College Readiness Program is for people who were not in college preparatory subjects in high school or who have a GED and who lack the required classes to gain admissions at the University of Rhode Island.  The College Readiness Program offers qualified students the opportunity to take the missing courses for free.  The entire cost of the College Readiness Program (fees, notebooks, textbooks, tuition, and tutoring) is paid for eligible students, in a grant form, by The College Readiness Program.  Classes include Math, Science, Spanish, and Writing/English.  Each class meets once a week from September to May for two hours in the late afternoons, evenings or Saturdays.  Academic support includes academic counseling and advising, tutoring, mid-semester academic evaluation, financial aid and admissions applications processing help.  Upon successful completion of the academic requirements with a C or better, students will be accepted to URI through the Talent Development Program.  For more information contact Joanne Ravello, 401-277-5304, 80 Washington Street, Room 429, Providence, RI 02903.

DAWN for Children
This program serves students in grades 3-12 in Woonsocket, Pawtucket, and Central Falls.  Dawn for Children provides academic advising and support, career planning, financial aid counseling, referrals to other services, mentoring, and enrichment programs.  For information call, 401-762-2513.  Contact: John Symynkywicz

GAP (Guaranteed Admissions Program URI)
A program of the University of Rhode Island Urban Field Center and the Providence School Department, the aim of GAP is to help urban Rhode Island youth get into four-year colleges.  The activities include peer tutoring, study groups, course advising, “shadowing days” with URI students, field trips, college clubs, PSAT/SAT preparation, field trips and college visits.  Students sign a contract with URI to take the college preparatory curriculum in high school, participate in a summer enrichment or JPTA project-based learning seminar, and maintain at least a C+ average overall.  Students who successfully meet these goals are guaranteed admission at URI after high school graduation.  While many students who participate in GAP choose to attend URI, others may choose to attend another college if they are admitted.  Students are eligible to apply in the 9th grade although 10th graders can also apply.  The program is open to students enrolled in Central and Hope High Schools in Providence, and Tolman and Shea High Schools in Pawtucket.  Contact Marcia Feld, Laura Lavallee or Kay Dodge at 401-277-5243.

Getting to College (Public Education Fund)
Getting to College is program to help students in 9th -12th grades, primarily in Providence, prepare for college.  Financial aid counselors in the Providence Schools and PCN staff help students through the process of planning and applying to college.  Planning guides for middle school and high school students are available through this office.  Getting to College helps students with their transition to college offering continuing advice and support.  The Public Education Fund sponsors the Last Dollar Scholarship Program for economically disadvantaged students and administers other scholarships and book grants.  For information on these programs contact Jaime Droste at 401-454-1050, email tpotoch@ride.ri.net., 15 Westminster Street, Suite 824, Providence, RI 02908.  Visit the PEF website at www.ri.net/PEF.

Kids Health Career Alliance  (Public Education Fund)
Kids Health Career Alliance is a college and careers awareness program for middle school students in Providence.  The program is run in partnership with CCRI, The Rhode Island Association of Student Financial Aid Advisors, and The Rhode Island Association of Admissions Officers.  Contact Jaime Droste at 401-454-1050,or 15 Westminster Street, Suite 824, Providence, RI 02908.  Visit the PEF website at www.ri.net/PEF.

Learning Enhancement for Adults Program (URI)
LEAP is a program to assist non-traditional students (over 21) who have a high school diploma or a GED to become ready to enter college.  During their first semester, students take review courses in English and learn commonly used computer applications.  Workshops are given on topics related to college success issues such as making presentations, and using the library.  Students participate in community projects, have the opportunity to take Myers-Briggs personality profile, and have access to career counseling.  For information call Mary Stanley, 277-5036; email, stanm508@etal.uri.edu; or write, 80 Washington Street, Room 208, Providence, RI 2903, 401-277-5304.

Pre-College Enrichment Program (Brown University)
Pre-College Enrichment Program (PCEP) is a program for first generation college bound Providence public high school students which opens up college and career opportunities and equips them with the skills and self-knowledge to succeed.  The program exposes students to a wide variety of people, resources, ideas, experiences, career paths, and college options, challenging them to use the resources around them to shape their futures.  The program meets on the Brown campus on Saturdays throughout the school year and on occasional Wednesdays.  Students apply to enter the program in the spring of the 9th grade; once enrolled students continue in the program until high school graduation.  Contact Heather Flewelling, 401-863-2338.  www.brown.edu/Departments/Swearer-Center/programs/adolescents.shtml#.

Preparatory Enrollment Program (PEP, RIC)
A program for a limited number of recent graduates from Rhode Island high schools who have the ability and potential to succeed in college with appropriate academic support services but who do not meet Rhode Island College’s criteria for regular admission.  Preference is given to applicants who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, who come from families in which neither parent graduated from college, and/or who have disabilities.  The PEP Program is designed to assist students who have underdeveloped academic skills, inadequate /inappropriate curricula in high school, or lower-than-average standardized test scores.  There are of two phases of the PEP Program to prepare participants for college-level work at Rhode Island College.  During the spring before enrollment, students come to the campus one night a week for six weeks to meet with their Student Support Services Counselor and take classes in study skills.  The following summer, students live in the dorms and have six weeks of intensive study in writing, mathematics, and communications, as well as one freshman-level course for college credit.  Visit the website at www.ric.edu/Home/admissions/pep.htm.  Contact Joseph Costa at 401-456-8237. 

Project Discovery (URI)
Project Discovery is a math, science, and technology program sponsored by the URI Urban Field Center primarily for 5-6 graders (with some 7-8 graders).  During two weeks of the summer, students explore different themes such as oceanography or robotics with URI faculty and science professionals.  Students go on field trips, visit the URI campus and interact with college students.  Project Discovery encourages middle school students to think of themselves as college-bound and consider a career in math, science or technology.  Students are recruited from the Broad Street, Fogarty, Gilbert Stuart, Reservoir Avenue, and Sackett Street Schools.  Contact Marcia Feld, Laura Lavallee or Kay Dodge at 401-277-5243.

Project L.I.N.K. (Salve Regina)
Project L.I.N.K. (Literacy Initiative for Newport Kids) targets improving the reading and writing skills of public school students in Newport through the use of computer information systems technology.  K-12 students are matched with Salve Regina undergraduate writing mentors with whom they correspond via the Internet.  Mentors invite the students and their families to participate in a variety of on-campus activities and share in the university experience.  The exposure to a college atmosphere through a campus visit provides an enlightening, educational, fun, and encouraging experience for the school children.  Collaborating with the University’s education majors is valuable for students in giving the opportunity for self-expression, encouraging them to ask questions, challenging their curiosity about higher education, and greatly improving their writing, reading, and computer skills. Contact: Kathryn Rok at 401-847-6650, rokk@salve.edu, 100 Ochre Point Ave., Newport, RI 02840.

Providence Summerbridge
Providence Summerbridge is a tuition-free program for Providence middle school students entering 7th and 8th grades who want to succeed academically.  Through tutoring, counseling, and academic skill-building, Summerbridge works with students and their families to help students reach their academic potential and get into the high school of their choice.  Students commit to 2 rigorous six-week summer sessions and 2 years of after school tutoring, mentoring, and academic electives during the school year.  The classes are taught by qualified high school and college students.  The program is given at the Wheeler School in Providence.  Contact co-directors Esan Looper or Jay Huguley by phone at 401-528-2127, or email provsb@aol.com or visit the Summerbridge web page:http://www.wheelerschool.org/highlights/SummerbridgePages/1SBProvidenceHomepage.html

Rhode Island Children's Crusade for Higher Education
Rhode Island Children’s Crusade for Higher Education is an early intervention program to encourage low-income students to stay in school and prepare for higher education.  Providing support programs and scholarships to all who financially qualify, the Crusade makes college, university, or trade school a possibility for all students who are enrolled and graduate.  It is the first program in the country to combine long-term supports and scholarships as incentives for at-risk students to stay in school.  To enroll, Rhode Island students must be in the third grade in one of the designated enrollment school.  Crusaders are expected to avoid drugs, early parenthood, and any problems with the law.  For more information visit the Crusade’s web site, www.childrenscrusade.org/; phone, 401-854-5500, or write, 1 Allen’s Ave., Providence, RI 02908.

Rhode Island Educational Enrichment Program (RIEEP)
RIEEP encourages Rhode Island youth, grades 3-12, to reach their goals through educational support activities and programs on life issues.  Students have the opportunity for tutoring, college visits, scholarships, travel, summer programs, community service projects, job training and placement.  For more information contact Ruth Corria at P.O. Box 9012, Providence, RI 02904.

Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center
The RI Educational Opportunity Center (RIEOC) provides assistance to individuals who wish to pursue post-secondary education or special training.  RIEOC provides free and confidential services to help people during all stages of preparation for college or special training, from completing a GED, to choosing a school, through graduation.  RIEOC counselors provide assistance to individuals in a variety of areas including: electronically completing Federal Financial Aid forms; advising on academic, financial aid and career issues; providing career assessment and career exploration; free online scholarship searches; and supplying admissions applications fee waivers to most RI and some out of state colleges for qualified students.  Bilingual advising and counseling available.  The main RIEOC office is located at CCRI in Providence with counselors available by appointment at CCRI in Warwick, the CCRI satellite campus at Newport Hospital, and community sites in Wakefield, Warren, Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence, and Woonsocket.  For information contact: Philomena Fayanjuola by phone, 401-455-6028; email, Pfayanjuola@ccri.cc.ri.us; or write, CCRI, 1 Hilton Square, Providence, RI 02905. 

Rhode Island Educational Talent Search
Rhode Island Educational Talent Search (RIETS) is a program which provides free help for middle and high school students who want to complete high school and enroll in college.  RIETS also provides services for high school and college dropouts who wish to complete their education.  Academic /advising activities include study skills-test taking workshops, high school course selection, tutorial referral, PSAT/SAT preparation, referral to math-science programs, and parents workshops.  To help students with college admissions process, REITS provides college catalogs and application assistance, college tours, college admissions waivers, postsecondary pre-enrollment activities, and information on programs of study.  Career counseling, clubs, career/vocational assessment, leadership development activities, and cultural enrichment activities are made available.  Provides financial aid forms and information, assistance completing forms, financial aid waivers, and scholarship information.  For information contact: Philomena Fayanjuola by phone, 401-455-6028; email, Pfayanjuola@ccri.cc.ri.us; or write, CCRI, 1 Hilton Square, Providence, RI 02905. 

The SMILE (Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences) Program is an after-school academic enrichment program of math and science for minority and disadvantaged students, grades 4 to 12, in Rhode Island school districts in partnership with the University of Rhode Island.  The goal of SMILE is to increase the numbers of minority and low-income students graduating from high school well qualified to enter higher education and pursue careers in engineering, science, math, computer science, health fields and teaching.  The program has a year-round schedule of activities, including weekly after-school clubs, career-oriented field trips, college guidance and preparation, and two annual events at URI, the Outdoor Science Adventure Camp and the Challenge Weekend.  For more information contact Carol M. Englander, SMILE director, by phone at 401-792-9682, by e-mail at englanca@etal.uri.edu, or visit the SMILE website: www.uri.edu/smile.

Special Programs for Talent Development (URI)
Special Programs for Talent Development offers the opportunity for a college education to Rhode Island high school graduates who would not normally be eligible for admission to the University of Rhode Island.  Talent Development recruits people whose personal, academic, or financial backgrounds put them at a disadvantage for admission to college.  Students accepted into Talent Development, participate in a six week Prep Program in the spring of their senior year.  The Prep Program helps students improve verbal skills, with instructors providing individual attention to each student.  During the summer, students participate in a six week Pre-Matriculation Program.  Living in a dormitory, students take special courses to improve academic skills and regular credit courses in the URI summer session.  This gives participants a taste of college life and a chance to become familiar with the campus and academic work.  To be admitted to URI for the Fall, all Talent Development students must successfully complete the summer program.  During the school year, Talent Development staff continues to offer assistance to students through tutorial services, counseling and financial advice.  For information contact Sharon Forleo by phone at 401-874-2901; email, sage2k@URI.edu; or mail, 19 Taft Hall, 9 Lippitt Road, URI, Kingston, RI 02881.

The Youth Opportunities Guide
The Youth Opportunities Guide is a detailed directory of educational, recreational, and creative program opportunities available to middle schoolers, teens, and older youths.  An overview of each program and contact information are provided.  Although intended as a guide to programs in Providence, some of the programs are open to youths in other designated communities.  Programs may focus on academics, sports, the arts, community service and other areas of interest.  A database of programs can be searched by area of interest, language spoken, and location.  The guide, developed as a project of the 1997 class of Leadership Rhode Island, is intended to help ensure that families are aware of the opportunities available to the youth of the City of Providence.  Of special interest to college-bound students and their families are the academic enrichment and college preparation programs.  www.youthguide.org 

Times 2
Times 2 is a special K-12 academic enrichment program to increase the number of African American, Latino, and Native American students interested in and qualified to pursue careers in math, science, and engineering.  Students are offered a variety of academic enhancement activities to complement and enrich their skills primarily in the content areas of math, science, and English.  Students attend numerous field trips to museums, educational institutions, and industrial sites; participate in hands-on workshops, and attend demonstrations and lectures.  They are able to investigate technical careers and meet the people who work in these fields.  Times 2 and URI cosponsor a five-week summer program and two oceanography programs.  In all of the offerings at Times2, the practical application of knowledge is stressed.   Contact Ralph Taylor, 401-272-5094 or visit the Times2 web site: www.times2.org

Upward Bound (RIC)
The Upward Bound Program helps selected high school students to improve their academic skills and motivation so that they complete high school and graduate from college.  Students who meet all program responsibilities continue in Upward Bound throughout high school.  Upward Bound offers many services and opportunities including academic courses for college preparation, counseling, tutoring, career exploration, course advisement, admissions process support, social, cultural, and athletic programs.  Students live on campus for six weeks during the summer and take college preparatory courses in mathematics, English, science, foreign language, study and test taking skills.  Students who would be first the generation to attend college, are from a low-income family, and in the 9th-11th grades at Central Falls High School, Shea High School, East Providence High School, Central High School, Hope High School or Mount Pleasant High School may apply.  For more information, call Mariam Boyajian at the Upward Bound office Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at 401-456-8081; or write, Upward Bound, RIC, 600 Mt. Pleasant Ave., Providence, RI 02906; or email cchace@ric.edu.

Resources for Rhode Islanders 

College Bound Fund
College Bound Fund is a state-sponsored trust available for families to save and invest for higher education expenses.  Families can be open an account, for the purpose of investing, to save for qualified educational expenses.  The money in the trust is privately managed under the supervision of the State Investment Commission.  While the money is on deposit in your account, there are no federal or state taxes on the earnings.  When the child is ready to attend college or graduate school, amounts can be withdrawn to pay for tuition, room, board, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at virtually any public or independent educational institution in the nation.  For information on enrollment or administrative matters, call toll-free 1-888-324-5057, or visit their webpage, www.collegeboundfund.org

The College Planning Center
The College Planning Center, a resource center sponsored by RISLA, offers Rhode Islanders up to date information on college admission, financial aid, distance learning, and careers.  The Center also offers free scholarship searches and community outreach services.  Experienced financial aid and admissions professionals will be available seven days a week to answer questions.  The center is committed to reaching all populations within the Rhode Island Community to ensure that each of these populations has access to this essential information.  The College Planning Center is located at the Warwick Mall, 400 Bald Hill Road, Suite R10.  Computer terminals for accessing information from the Internet are available.  The College Planning Center web site provides links to sites with information on financial aid, college selection, distance learning, career and job search.  Contact: David DeBlois by phone at 401-736-3170, by email at ddeblois@collegeplanningcenter.org, or visit their web site, www.collegeplanningcenter.org

Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority
The Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority (RIHEAA), was created to provide financial assistance to students and their families which allows them to realize their postsecondary educational goals.  The mission of RIHEAA is to provide educational access and choice to the residents of Rhode Island, promoting equal postsecondary opportunity to students who are restricted from participating in the educational program of their choice due to insufficient financial resources.  RIHEAA administers the Rhode Island State Scholarship and Grant Program, the Student Employment Network, and the College Bound Fund (www.collegeboundfund.org).  The Authority is the guarantor of the Federal Stafford and PLUS loan programs.  The Rhode Island Scholarship Search (TRISS), a free, user-friendly software program developed to help students search for private sources of scholarships and grants, is made available to high school guidance offices, college financial aid offices and public libraries in the state by RIHEAA.  For additional information, contact Mary-Ann Walsh by phone at 401-736-1100, by mail to 560 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick, RI 02886, or visit the RIHEAA webpage, www.riheaa.org

Rhode Island Office of Higher Education
Rhode Island Office of Higher Education has factual information on the colleges and universities (Higher Education in Rhode Island: A Briefing Book)and proprietary schools (Directory of Proprietary Schools in Rhode Island)that operate in this state.  Preparing for College: A Guide for Students and Families, is a website providing information and annotated hyperlinks to Internet sources on the process of planning and applying to college (www.ribghe.org/col-prep.html).  For people who do not speak English as their native language, there is information on English as a Second Language Programs (ESL in Rhode Island Public Colleges and University: A Directory).  Students who are planning to transfer from one of the public institutions to another should consult their advisor and The Transfer Guide for Students, which lists course equivalencies and articulation agreements, before choosing courses.  This site also has information on Rhode Island Board of Governors and other issues related to higher education in Rhode Island.  Many of the reports are now available online at the Rhode Island Board of Governors website.  Other reports can be requested by calling 401-222-6560 or writing to Rhode Island Office of Higher Education, 301 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908.

RI Scholarships
RISLA (Rhode Island Student Loan Authority) has recently launched a new website that provides information on scholarships available to Rhode Islanders, from athletic scholarships offered by the Cumberland Youth Soccer Association to employee scholarships offered by Dunkin’ Donuts.  The database can be browsed by categories (like academics, civic service, ethnicity, etc.) or by keyword.  The site provides general information about each scholarship, allows visitors to produce customized letters of inquiry, and provides links to other Rhode Island resources.  Go to www.rischolarships.com, or follow links from RISLA’s homepage

Rhode Island Student Loan Authority
“Making Access to Higher Education More Affordable”
Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) is a non-profit state authority dedicated to providing affordable loans for higher education.  To be eligible, you must be a Rhode Island resident or attending college in Rhode Island.  RISLA provides easy, local access to low cost educational funds; helps Rhode Island colleges and universities to be more financially competitive in attracting and retaining exemplary students; counsels students and parents on how they can afford higher education; and provides state of the art loan processing and disbursement services.  Information is available on the Stafford, Parent Plus, RI Family Education, Partnership, and Scholarship Loan programs.  Call 401-736-1190 or 800-758-7562; write 560 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick, RI 02886, or visit their webpage,  www.risla.com.11/2/1999

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Rhode Island Office of Higher Education
Academic Affairs
301 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908-5748
(401) 222-6560

Website Developed in December 1998 by Timothy S. Chace and Phyllis Harnick
Site last updated December 2000