Wildcat Learning Effectiveness in Action Program (LEAP)

Group of students dancing on Gaebe Commons.

Hosted at JWU’s Providence Campus, the Wildcat Learning Effectiveness in Action program (LEAP) is a fee-based educational program designed to help students discover how they learn and to develop specific strategies to enhance their learning. The program includes one-on-one support, small group instruction, and a 3-credit course available only to LEAP participants.

LEAP focuses on supporting students with challenges in the area of executive functioning. Those with AD/HD, generalized anxiety, and/or specific learning disabilities may particularly benefit from the program.

“Our student body is rich and diverse, and we’ve learned to embrace them and promote their diversity in a way that they learn not only from faculty but from each other. They really grow and flourish here.”

Joseph Barresi Jr., PhD, LICSW, LCDP, Associate Dean of Student Affairs

Program Structure

Wildcat LEAP is a 10-month program that runs from August through May.

The JWU experience begins with a 10-day intensive summer component designed to support students through the transition from high school to college. Participants explore the many supports and resources available to them at JWU, begin to learn about themselves and their learning characteristics, and develop peer supports within their LEAP cohort.

Throughout the fall semester, LEAP participants benefit from biweekly individualized support from their LEAP Learning Advisor. In addition to one-on-one support, the cohort is enrolled in a 3-credit course designed specifically for and available only to LEAP participants.

The program continues through the spring semester with biweekly one-on-one meetings with their LEAP Advisor, as well as group activities and workshops on topics selected by the LEAP cohort. The program concludes with the development of a Wildcat LEAP Learning Portfolio that demonstrates comprehensive evidence of applied learning strategies.

Wildcat LEAP Includes:

  • 10-day summer component
  • one-on-one support
  • small group activities to foster effective learning and independence
  • 3-credit course available only to LEAP participants


“You learn in LEAP that if you have a schedule to stick to, you stay motivated and you get it done.”


Students Share Their LEAP Experiences

LEAP alum Jonah, an Entrepreneurship major in the Class of 2025, found that moving into JWU early and getting to know classmates and teachers during the summer smoothed his transition to college. He already saw familiar faces, had people to eat with and knew his way around campus to get to his classes. “When everyone else arrived for moving day and was running around, I was calm and felt like the most organized kid.”

Amara, a Dietetics and Applied Nutrition major and a past LEAP participant, agrees: “It was a good transition between high school summer life and starting college, when you’re needing to focus and hone in on skills.”


LEAP Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an application process for LEAP?
Yes, students must provide recent (within the last 3 years) testing results along with documentation of their diagnoses.  If older testing results are shared, they will be reviewed; however, more recent testing is optimal to fully understand learning needs and strengths. You may inquire with Accessibility Services for local referrals for psychological and/or educational testing: 401-598-4660. Apply for Wildcat LEAP here.

Is there a required interview?
Yes, all applicants will receive an individual interview to answer your questions and ensure Wildcat LEAP is the right program for you. An in-person interview is preferred; however, we will allow interviews by telephone or skype if needed. The interview will be scheduled at a convenient time for you, after we receive your application materials.

Can students enroll in Wildcat LEAP if they are unable to participate in the 10-day summer program?
Students who are unable to participate in the summer portion are welcome to join the LEAP cohort when they arrive for their Fall semester.

“We believe that Leo was able to navigate the first year successfully because of you and we are grateful for all your guidance.”