Boosting College Completion has developed a policy profile for Rhode Island based on an analysis of data and policies related to college completion and workforce development.
Governor Chafee’s budget would consolidate the Office of Higher Education and Higher Education Assistance Authority, create a $20 million scholarship program and establish a bond issue for capital construction at the state’s higher education institutions. While these budget items could have a positive impact on postsecondary completion rates, a bold strategy would be to set clear goals and metrics around postsecondary education, followed by investments in strategies to reach those objectives. These goals should reward institutions that improve degree completion and increase residents’ access to high-demand, high-wage jobs.
In terms of market share, public postsecondary institutions enrolled 55% of college students in 2010 — a little over 43,000 students. However, the three public institutions only produced 36% of the state’s college degrees and certificates. The lower productivity of the state’s public institutions is masked by the overall education level of state residents and the productivity of Rhode Island’s robust private higher education system.
Policymakers should focus on increasing attainment among adults and people of color, through a combination of student and institutional incentives. Embedding incentives in financial aid and funding formulas could increase attainment, contribute to state economic development goals and produce a workforce not reliant on migration of new residents. To increase college attainment rates and improve economic competitiveness, legislators should:
News & Updates
Dr. Bruce Vandal, Director, Postsecondary Education and Workforce Development Institute, will present to the Rhode Island House Commission to Study Higher Education Affordability and Accessibility on February 7, 2012.
Rep. Frank Ferri
Chair, House Commission to Study Higher Education Affordability and Accessibility
Rep. Donna M. Walsh
Vice-chair, House Commission to Study Higher Education Affordability and Accessibility
Rep. Joseph M. McNamara
Chair, House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare
Rep. Grace Diaz
Vice-chair, House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare
Senator Hanna M. Gallo
Chair, Senate Committee on Education
Senator Harold M. Metts
Vice-chair, Senate Committee on Education
Rhode Island is participating in the following national initiatives that are related to college completion and workforce development:
American Diploma Project (ADP)
Common Core Standards Initiative
Complete College America (CCA)
PARCC Assessment Consortium
Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Program (TAACCCT)
The following resources were produced by Boosting College Completion, state agencies and postsecondary systems.
Rhode Island House Commission to Study Higher Education Affordability and Accessibility