Pathway to Purpose

image of aerial of RWU campus

About the Program 

We live in a globally connected world changing at a rapid pace as demographic change and technological change, especially artificial intelligence, mean work in the future will be different from what it is right now. Many current jobs will no longer exist, while many new jobs will be created. In the midst of this, persistent "big problems" such as inequality, the climate change threat and populism are threatening our way of life, and education has consistently failed to deliver on its promise of social mobility for students from low income families.

These realities demand visionary, value-driven leaders with the mental models, emotional intelligence, passion and courage to motivate much needed change.

Enter pathway to purpose.

The Pathway to Purpose initiative is designed to deliver a transformative higher education experience to high-performing students from under-resourced and under-served backgrounds. Through substantial financial funding, a focus on experiential learning and high-impact practices such as writing-intensive courses, study abroad, internships, undergraduate research and community engagement, as well as intentionally designed and scaffolded curricular and co-curricular programming and mentoring, students will be equipped to successfully navigate their careers and the outside world while nurturing their own unique identities.

Program Components 

Cohort Experiences

One of the hallmarks of the P2P experience is the ability of students to take courses with their peers in a collaborative and empowering experience. Regardless of their major, P2P participants will take at least one cohort-based class a year, focused on the development of critical thinking skills and the habits of mind that are in high demand by employers. Most of these courses will be offered during the winter intersession or one of the summer sessions. One of these courses will be a short-term study-abroad experience.

For their first year, P2P participants will also live in on-campus housing together. This requirement supports community building.

Support and Navigation Assistance

P2P participants will have a college mentor as they transition to college and navigate their first year and beyond. They also will meet outside of class on a bi-weekly basis to learn tips for success and share their collective wisdom with each other.

Financial Aid 

Admission to the program entitles students to a sizeable University scholarship, which covers most of the cost for tuition, room and board. After accepting all federal loans, the total out-of-pocket cost to attend the University is $3,000 for Rhode Island residents. Residents from outside of Rhode Island will be charged an additional $2,000.

If students choose not to accept federal loans, they will be responsible for covering those additional costs.


Dr. Zoila Quezada
Director of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Shamika Cameron
Director of Undergraduate Admission Recruitment