Support During COVID 19

As the campus continues to work diligently to respond to the COVID-19 health crisis, please know that we are working to identify and provide resources to promote student success. The campus community is galvanized around supporting our students, whether students are with us on campus or working remotely. Students continue to be our top priority and CSAS is here for you!

Advising & Peer Mentorship:
Staff is available to “meet” with students via email, virtually and in person with social distancing.  The staff in the Advising and Peer Mentorship Office are ready to assist students with general advising and planning, assistance with academic policies and procedures, academic coaching and any other issue which may arise. 

If you need to speak to a staff member, please email or call 401-254-3456. 

Student Accessibility Services (SAS):
SAS is working closely with other RWU departments and faculty to ensure that the needs and concerns of students with disabilities are met. You may contact the office by emailing  The Director, Laura Choiniere, is available to discuss individual student’s needs or concerns. She may be contacted at 

The Tutoring Center:

The Tutoring Center will provide tutoring through online platforms for the Fall 2020 semester. All of the services of the Tutoring Center are free for RWU students. While you will see a course in your schedule called “RWU Online Tutoring Fall 20,” you are not being charged for this course.  In order to make tutoring accessible to all students, we have placed all undergraduate students in this course.  This course will not be part of your academic record.  

To access tutoring for Math, Science, and Foreign Languages, students should go to Bridges and click on the course titled “RWU Online Tutoring Fall 20.” You will see directions for how to access tutoring.  

The Writing Center will offer assistance through this RWU website. You will attach your paper to an email; we ask that you include information like the name of the course, the required documentation format (MLA, APA, Chicago), and the assignment instructions.  A writing tutor will review your paper, provide comments, and return it to you via email.  

For more information or questions, please contact:
Writing tutoring: Karen Bilotti, Director of the Tutoring Center and Writing Center, at
Science tutoring: Tracey McDonnell Wysor, Coordinator of the Science Center, at
Math tutoring: Richard Fullerton, Coordinator of the Math Center, at

Open Space for Commuter Students:

A committee of faculty and staff have met to help provide a list of spaces for Commuter students to complete online courses that might happen before or after an in person class.  Below is a list of spaces that have been identified to assist you finding space on campus.  As a reminder, there is limited space in each building, you might want to have a backup plan if you stop by a space that is fully occupied.

  • Library 1st and 2nd Floors
  • Commuter Lounge (located on garden level of Stonewall Terrace Building 4)
  • Baypoint Conference Center – Newport Rom – entrance by side door on right (facing front of building)
  • Conference Room, located on the 2nd floor past the Gym and Pool – 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • GHH Atrium
  • GHH 2nd floor
  • GHH small conference rooms
  • Library Instructional Lab – 3rd floor
  • Sailing Center – Mondays all day, Tuesday – Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m..
  • Student Senate Chambers – Recreation Center by the Radio Station (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • SECCM – 1st floor lobby
  • SECCM Lab Building – 1st and 2nd floor lobbies

If you are learning online, it is important to think about the ways in which online learning is different from a traditional in-person classroom setting as well as similar. This top ten list has been put together to help you think about your approach to being successful in the on-line learning environment.

1. While the mode for learning is different, it is still a class and you must treat it as such. Review the materials your faculty member has provided about how the course will now be taught, their expectations for your participation, and course requirements. Make sure you understand what is needed to be successful in the course. If you are unsure about something, ask your faculty member for help.


2. Be sure you are ready with what is needed in regards to technology for the start of online classes. Test out the internet access from where you will be participating in the online class ahead of your first class to be sure everything is working correctly. If you have challenges with regards to access to technology or the internet, please let your faculty member, the Center for Student Academic Success or the Student Life Office know right away so we can work with you.  For Login/Password issues, please contact the IT MediaTech Desk, or call (401) 254.6363.  For general Bridges support, please email or call (401) 254.3187.  Resources have been added to the main page of Bridges.


3. Set a goal for each course and think of it as your job. Students have often heard us say that being a college student is your full time job and you must treat it as such. Be sure you are making the time for your coursework. You need to be preparing for class, keeping up with assignments and studying beyond the time you are online for class. Make a schedule and stick to it.


4. Identify a place to do your work. Find a space that is not full of distractions and gives you the ability to focus on your work. Assemble what you need at a table or desk. Resist the urge to lie on the couch or in bed while you are online for class as your body associates those comfy spaces with rest and relaxation and not with work and focus which is what is needed for class! Lastly, put away your phone or other devices that may distract you.


5. Participation is super important. Sometimes people think that when they are taking an online class that all that will be required of them is to sit back and listen. It is important to listen, but it is also important to be an engaged and active member of the class. You will need to participate- just in a different way. You can ask questions and add your opinions to class discussions. Just follow the instructor’s instructions for how to do that.


6. Manage your time. This skill is critical no matter which way you are taking a class. Make a schedule for yourself each week and follow it. It is easier to stay on top of things than it is to play catch-up.


7. Take advantage of resources. While we might not be together on campus, the RWU support systems are still in place. Reach out for help when you need it. Your faculty advisors and instructors are available for consultation. The three offices in the Center for Student Academic Success are making adjustments to support you from afar. The Tutoring Center is offering online tutoring for (writing, math, science), the advisors in the Advising & Peer Mentorship Office are available to discuss academic plans and to make referrals for academic support, and Student Accessibility Services continues to work with faculty to ensure classes are accessible and academic accommodations can be made.


8. Set up study groups with classmates! This is a great way to learn material together, to work on projects and to stay in touch with other students. There are many ways to do this including Skype, Zoom, meetings in Bridges, Google Hangouts and social media.


9. Work with your faculty member. Don’t be afraid to let your faculty know if you need help with something or if you need further explanation of a concept. Your faculty member will let you know their preference for contacting them. If they don’t, ask them how you can set up some time with them.


10. Remember that moving to online courses is new for many of us- students and faculty alike. Have patience with yourself (and others) and give yourself the grace to make mistakes and to learn as you go. Think of the new skills you will develop as a result of this new learning experience and leverage that for your own academic and personal growth.

For many students, online learning is new   While it may be a different way to learn, think of your own strengths as a learner, what you need to work on, and who can help you.  Many students have found online learning to suit their strengths and needs.  If you would like to talk with someone about adapting to an online learning format, we encourage you to speak with the faculty member teaching the course and to reach out to us in CSAS.  

Email one of the staff members below to schedule an appointment. All Advising and Peer Mentorship staff is available to meet via phone, Zoom, or in-person*.

* In person appointments will resume February 1, 2021.

Elizabeth Niemeyer 
Director, Advising and Peer Mentorship
Zoom link
Areas of specialty: undecided advising, exploring students, students in transition, academic issues, student retention, supervision of advising staff, financial aid appeals, matriculation processes
Valerie Leishman
Senior Academic Advisor
Zoom link
Areas of specialty: undecided advising, exploring students, students in transition, academic issues, peer mentor contact, academic skill development
Angela Raymond
Academic Advisor, Placement Coordinator
Zoom link
Areas of specialty: undecided advising, exploring students, students in transition, academic issues, academic referrals contact, academic placement
Sandy DeCotis
Administrative Assistant
Areas of specialty: general questions for the Advising and Peer Mentorship Department