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College Unbound’s mission is to reinvent higher education for underrepresented returning adult learners, using a model that is individualized, interest-based, project-driven, workplace-enhanced, cohort-supported, flexible, supportive, and affordable. We integrate the students’ own purposes for learning with the needs of their workplaces and communities, improving the lives of the students and the lives of those they touch. As a degree completion college, College Unbound provides access, support through completion, and career placement, ensuring that students get in, stay in, and move forward.

College Unbound educates adult learners one student at a time in out-of-the-classroom settings. Our target market is adults who began degree programs, but were unable to finish. With our delivery model, these adult students are able to work full-time in addition to being full-time students.

CU is not a course-based delivery model. Working in collaboration with academic advisors, professional mentors, field experts, and their peers, students create personal learning plans using interests, strengths and identified knowledge and skills gaps to chart a path to earning a bachelor’s degree. Students work their plans by: engaging with a variety of online resources and discussions, participating in workplace learning experiences, conducting individualized research, designing and completing high-interest projects through which they demonstrate university content competencies, professional competencies, and other skills necessary for lifelong learning.

Once per week, they meet with their College Unbound learning community for common experiences such as guest speakers and relevant reading discussion. Students maintain online portfolios of their work, and every eight weeks students participate in learning exhibitions to receive targeted feedback on their work and their thinking from peers, professional mentors, field experts, and College Unbound lead faculty and academic advisors.

CU is committed to:

  • deeply personalized education that fosters intellectual curiosity and improves the life of the student and the lives of those they touch.
  • pedagogy that honors the individual and demonstration of competencies over seat time.
  • leadership in innovative practices that disrupt conventional higher education.