Student Success

Culture of Support


CU students lead full lives, and we recognize the importance of providing access to a wide range of supports, from academics, employment, family and emergency services. College Unbound offers comprehensive and systematic support to help students stay in their degree program, graduate, and keep moving forward. We integrate these supports into the curriculum as well as making supplemental support available as the need arises.


Essential supports are available to all students free of charge at CU’s weekly cohort meetings:

  • Dinner: At every weekly gathering for class expect a hot meal on us.

At each weekly cohort gathering a Student Services Representative is available to answer your questions. Student Service Representatives are peer representatives that are members of the Student Services Committee. The Student Services Committee is a student lead organization that reviews the programs and policies of student services


Interested in learning more or joining the committee? Send us an email: [email protected]



Student Services in the Curriculum


A part of student services is expanding social capital for our students. This happens through the development of the PLN (Personal Learning Network), the exposure to resources and learning experiences from which you can draw. It also provides the means to assess, validate, and credential the learning. Students are not limited to using only those resources. They are encouraged and credited to use the world around them. Our Student Handbook outlines a wide range of policies designed to support our students, including the Student Code of Conduct, Academic Honesty Policy, Professional Mentor Agreement, Nondiscrimination Policy and other valuable student resources.


Academic Resources


  • Library Resources: College Unbound is proud to partner with the Providence Public Library to provide lifelong access to reading, research, and learning resources for CU students, alumni, and the Providence community. To learn more, see library resources.
  • Study-Hall Pop-Ups: Study Hall Pop-ups meet twice a month on Saturdays to open the building to offer a place for students to catch up on their work together. The Assistant Dean of Students and a Student Services Representative is present at all Study Hall Pop-Ups!
  • Assistant Dean of Student Services on Call: Please reach out to Chris Dickson by email or phone 404-956-9657 with any questions and he will get back to you within one business day.
  • Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: College Unbound is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. Any student who needs, or believes they may need disability accommodations is welcome to contact CU Accessibility at [email protected]. This will connect you to Jon Corey Ph.D. who will be able to assist and advocate for your needs.
  • Academic Tutoring: To set up appointments with CU’s Writing and Math Tutors, please email Student Services to request a meeting.
  • Financial Literacy: Need help working on your FAFSA or credit score? Contact Tom Norton, the Financial Aid Advisor.
  • Big 10 Resource Page
  • LIP Resource Page

Counseling Services and Emergency Response


College Unbound has a Case Management Team that works to assist students with the challenges of everyday life. Reach out to Wanda Brown if you need assistance at [email protected].


Should you need immediate assistance at any hour, please call the United Way’s 211 hotline or visit to call, search or chat.  Mention that you are a CU student. Our partnership with United Way 211 enables us to provide CU students support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


A warm welcome to the Student Success Webpage!

This webpage was developed to assist you in your journey at CU by sharing important information about the support that is available to you as a CU student. Student Success staff support students in achieving their dreams and goals.  Reach out to the Student Success Team to learn more about the opportunities that exist for you at CU.

What is student success at College Unbound?

We asked a group of CU students, what success meant for them?  Here is what they said: 
  • "Being able to bring my dreams and goals to reality."
  • "Success is me, helping others."
  • "It looks like me. A mom returning to school."
  • "To lead and speak out on the issues of today."
  • "A sense of hope for my community. A sense of purpose and belonging for myself and a sense of security. And a path forward for my children."
From the intrapersonal level to the work of world-making together, Student Success utilizes a socio-ecological model of success. A socio-ecological model of success is the interdependence between our students and the society they seek to create. By co-creating structures around wellness with our students and working with our Community Cares Team, Student Success supports our students in getting a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Leadership and Change so they can be the leaders they hope to become and create the change they wish to see in the world.

Community Cares is our Collective Work of Student Success

To help students achieve success at CU is our Community Care team! To get in touch with the team for support, fill out this form:
Community Care is a cross-team process of working with CU students, staff, faculty and community partners to ensure the coordination of care and success of our students. Our Process for Community Care at CU is that following your assessment, a staff member(s) will be assigned to work with you and act toward the care you need. This may include long-term advocacy work or accompaniment toward community-based resources.
Members of the Community Cares Process Include:
  • Diana Perdomo, Vice President of Institutional and Student Sustainability
  • Sonia Thomas, New Student Transitions Coordinator
  • Wanda Brown, Community Care Coordinator
  • Monshell Reyes, Student Success Coach
  • Morgan De Lancy, Writing and Wellness Coordinator
  • Chris Dickson, Assistant Dean of Student Success

Student Success at CU is SWEL (Student Wellness & Engaged Living) 

Part of CU’s strategy for supporting the success of students is enacted through SWEL, our Student Wellness and Engaged Living initiative. We understand that wellness is relational and always aimed towards justice. 
SWEL (Student Wellness & Engaged Living) is about restoring the “we” in wellness - by creating spaces for students and staff to share stories + strategies that deepen well-being and our collective liberation. SWEL is made for our students and made by our work-study students in collaboration with the larger CU community. 

Wellness comes in the following forms:

Going to college and managing courses, work, and family commitments can be stressful sometimes. Having emotional wellness - the ability to effectively handle life’s stresses and adapt to change - is strengthened if you have good support systems and effective strategies for managing stress in place. Who is in your support system? What techniques do you have for coping with stress?
Learning wellness includes your satisfaction with your performance in classes and your progression toward identified learning goals, including graduating from college. Good time management and organizational skills, access to peer and mentor support, and understanding your learning needs are all important for promoting learning wellness. How do you learn best? What learning supports would be helpful to you as a learner? 
Financial wellness is the ability to make sound financial decisions, to possess financial security, and to make decisions for your overall wellness without undue financial stress or burden. Getting your financial house in order can open up opportunities for short and longer term stability. Is your financial house in order?
Wellness in the social area refers to your’ ability to establish and maintain meaningful social connections and relationships with others. Healthy boundaries in relationships, feeling engaged in community, and being true to yourself are all signs of social wellness. How are you establishing boundaries so you can attend your education? How are you showing up in the community? 
Physical wellness is all about the ability to have a quality of life that allows you to get the most out of your daily activities without too much fatigue or physical stress. Being in tune with your body is an important step in determining the right balance for your physical wellness. What are you doing to attend to your physical wellness?
Vocational wellness refers to gaining personal satisfaction and enrichment from the work you do, whether it is your course work while in college or your job. Doing work that aligns with your values, interests, and expertise, and also allows for work life balance are all important aspects of  vocational wellness. How can you align your passions with your career? What’s the nature of your work-life balance?
Spiritual wellness is expressed through a deepening sense of purpose and meaning in life. It may or may not involve religious activities. It can look like time spent reflecting on your values and purpose and finding ways to live in alignment with these values. Being a college student will provide you with opportunities to clarify your values and act on your purpose. What are your values and how do you live those values? Do you know what your life’s purpose is?
Environmental wellness comes from having a healthy relationship with the spaces where we live, work, and play as well as possessing a healthy relationship with the planet. This can look like taking steps to value, care for, and connect with the natural world. In what ways do you connect with the environment? What seeds are you planting for yourself?
Civic Wellness is expressed by understanding your rights and responsibilities in your community, and participating actively and responsibly. Civic wellness also looks like taking collective action to create the change necessary for community accountability, safety, and well-being. What are you doing to advocate for your community? How are you accountable to your  community?
To learn more about SWEL and how you can ensure you are successful as a student at CU, log into Moodle and look for the SWEL tab. 

The Student Success Team is here to support you during your time at College Unbound. When in doubt about anything, reach out.

Meet The Team
“Chris” Charles Dickson is Assistant Dean of Student Success. Chris supports students in navigating personal, family, and community challenges. If you are struggling with an issue and don’t know who to speak to, reach out to Chris or your Lab Faculty.
Chris Dickson
Chris’s Tip for Students: “Time management is overrated. Learn to become friends with time instead."


Sonia Thomas is the Admission and New Student Transition Coordinator. Sonia helps new students in their transition to College Unbound and to being a student. She connects students to resources and provides a series of workshops to get them ready for success at CU.

Sonia Thomas

Sonia’s Tip for Students: “Trust the process. Be patient with yourself. It takes time to unlearn what we were taught education should look like.”


E-Mail: [email protected]
Ph: 401-204-4947

Michael Reaves (He, Him, His) is Director of Alumni and Career Success. He provides students and alumni career development resources and support, e.g. resume/cover letter development, job search/exploration, and interviewing techniques. He also helps members of the CU community network with experts in various  fields, community organizers, and potential employers/partners. Because alumni play an important role in supporting student success at CU, Michael creates pathways for alumni to connect with students as mentors, and supports alumni commitment to lifelong learning.
Michael Reaves
Michael’s Tip for Students: “Learning is messy. It's important to set a goal. It might take you to another goal, and that’s okay. Just keep learning.”
Monshell Reyes is Case Manager for CU students in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Monshell provides Individual counseling sessions, connects students to resources and makes referrals to supportive services.
Monshell Reyes
Monshell’s Tip for Students: “Do not be afraid to ask for help and utilize the resources shared with you.”

[email protected]
Allen Cowett serves as Director of Financial Aid. The Financial Aid Department is here to help with all questions about financing your College Unbound education and completing the FAFSA. Our team has more than 25 years of financial aid experience and we want to put that to work for you.
Allen Cowett
Allen’s Tip for Students: If you don't know something, just ask! CU staff is friendly and eager to help. If we don't know the answer, we will help you try and find it. Activate your village, utilize your resources, and don't hesitate to reach out for help. I ask for help every day.

E-Mail: [email protected]
Ph. 401-654-5393
Lance Eaton is Director of Faculty Development and Innovation. His primary work with students is supporting them in learning about our educational technology or how to leverage some tools for teaching and learning. This means he is not necessarily helpful with technical things (e.g. getting you access to your Gmail, resetting your password, or getting into Moodle), but once you are in, if you are looking for ways of making sense of those tools for learning, he can certainly be helpful.
Lance Eaton
Lance’s Tip for Students: Whenever trying to figure out something technological that you feel frustrated by, do these 3 things: 
  • Stop and just focus on your breathing--even for just 10-20 seconds.
  • Think about what you do know about technology (e.g. make cross connections and analogies from your phone, computer, and other devices). Often what you are doing on one device (computer), you have done on another device (phone).  So think about where these devices are similar and different.
  • Go slowly and review carefully every option on the screen before you.
  • Use Google or YouTube to help find answers.
  • Be specific in your question.  Include the type of device (Mac, PC, iPhone 14, Google Pixel 6, etc).  If you don't know what device you are using, google "how do know what device I'm using.”
  • When you find a resource, read or watch it fully first.  Then go back and start to follow the guidance step by step.
  • This won't necessarily work every time but the process will make you more comfortable with technology and finding answers this way.  
[email protected]
Ph. 617-824-0472

Wanda Brown is the Community Care Coordinator. Wanda assists students with emotional, financial, and food insecurities and connects students to resources and more. She is committed to helping students remove barriers preventing them from reaching their goals.

Wanda Brown Wanda’s Tip for Students: “Believe that we believe you can do it!”

E-Mail: [email protected]
Ph. 401-226-2698