College Unbound in running for $100K Drucker Institute prize

PROVIDENCE – The president of College Unbound says the nontraditional degree-granting school for adult learners is a semifinalist for a $100,000 prize from the renowned Drucker Institute.

Founded by the late business-management expert Peter Drucker, the California-based institute offers the annual prize to a group that provides creative approaches to social problems, according to College Unbound. The school, based in Providence, is one of 50 semifinalists for the prize.

“It is an honor to be recognized among the most-creative organizations in the country, and to raise awareness inside and outside of Rhode Island for the work we do every day to help people achieve their dreams of a college degree and more,” Dennis Littky, College Unbound founder and president, said in a news release.

College Unbound was founded in 2009 and offers education programming to nontraditional students who began their studies elsewhere and, for one reason or another, were interrupted. It enrolls about 200 students.

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The school is pursuing regional accreditation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. In March, the U.S. Department of Education cleared the way for College Unbound to accept student requests for federal financial aid.

The 50 semifinalists will be narrowed to 10 finalists on Aug. 30. A winner will be announced on Oct. 1.

The winner will be given a $100,000 cash prize, while other finalists will be given “practical insight to help them become more effective, and specifically designed mini-courses,” the Drucker Institute website said. “Judges look for programs that are highly effective and have made a difference in the lives of the people they serve, as well as for those organizations that demonstrate a capacity to further leverage the discipline of innovation.”

William Hamilton is PBN staff writer and special projects editor. You can follow him on Twitter @waham or email him at hamilton@pbn.com.