Rhode Island College

President Obama may not as popular as he once was, according to the latest public opinion polls. Yet  if you were on the Rhode Island College campus his afternoon, you wouldn’t hold that view.

By 3:30 p.m., more than 500 students and many others who appeared much older than the traditional college-age students, were lined up to get tickets for Obama’s speech at 3 p.m. on Thursday. RIC political science professor Kay Israel said that interest has been high among students and faculty for the presidential visit.

Rhode Island College

Rhode Island College has released new details on President Barack Obama's visit to The Ocean State on Thursday.

RIC says the president is scheduled to speak at 3 p.m. at the Murray Center on the college's Providence campus. The address is expected to focus on the economy.

Tickets for the event will be available this morning for RIC students and faculty, starting at 11 a.m., according to the college's website.

Courtesy Rhode Island College

Rhode Island College holds a ribbon cutting ceremony today for Alex and Ani Hall. The $17 million renovation project created the university’s first-ever arts building.  

The 1958 building originally housed a student center, cafeteria, and library.  RIC President Nancy Carriuolo says the renovated building has plenty of natural light and a special ventilation system to make sure the studios are safe for art making.

RIPR FILE

Is Rhode Island government finally waking up to leveraging state colleges as wellsprings of economic development? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay sees some hopeful signs on Smith Hill.

After years of malign neglect of Rhode Island’s public colleges and universities, the General Assembly finally appears to be turning a corner. Several elements in the state budget approved last week by the House Finance Committee show that Statehouse politicians are finally getting the message on the iron link between education and creating jobs in the Ocean State.

After too many years of giving short shrift to public higher education in Rhode Island,  the General Assembly and state government appear to have finally begun to reverse this short-sighted policy.

In the budget that cleared the House Finance Committee on a 14 to 2 vote Thursday, the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island have won some important initiatives.

Elderly Latinos in Rhode Island and their families may not be aware of the programs available to help them.  That’s the premise of a conference planned for Wednesday at Rhode Island College.

RIC’s gerontology program is hosting the conference, called “Meeting the Needs of Latino Elderly.” The idea is to draw attention to state programs Latinos and their families might not know about because of language barriers or immigration status. But Latino community advocate and conference moderator Delia Rodriquez Masjoan said those aren’t the only reasons.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island College announced a new graduate certificate program in nursing care management today. In a statement, the college explained what nurse care managers do and why they decided to offer this program now:

"Nurse care managers provide patient assessment, treatment planning, health care facilitation and advocacy within all health care settings, including private practices and hospitals.

Richard Walton was a huge presence in our small state for more than a half century. A writer, journalist, teacher and political activist, Walton, of Warwick, was a leader in so many campaigns for peace and social justice that even his friends and fellow activists could barely keep count.

RIPR FILE

Seventy four undocumented students have enrolled at the state’s public colleges and universities.

They’re taking advantage of a policy the state adopted in 2011.

The controversial policy allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at any of Rhode Island’s schools of higher education. The seventy-four students taking advantage of the policy is about half the number lawmakers predicted. Ana Cano-Morales is the head of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University. She offers several reasons for the lower-than-expected numbers.

New standards for teacher programs will link quality measures to factors that include student test scores. The standards also raise the bar for admissions to teacher programs, calling for undergraduate applicants to have at least a 2.75 grade point average.

The new standards are part of an ongoing effort to improve teaching in Rhode Island's public schools. I asked Nancy Castagno from Rhode Island College to weigh in on the standards, and she said RIC and URI have both been working closely with state officials to craft the language of the standards.

Rhode Island College

Rhode Island College has decided against arming its campus police force. In an email, RIC President Nancy Carriuolo said a campus survey showed the college community about equally divided on the issue, though she stressed the vast majority did not respond to the survey.

Carriuolo said she made the decision after discussions with campus police and her cabinet.

John Bender / RIPR

As public schools focus on raising test scores and getting more students ready for college, there is new scrutiny on teachers and the schools that teach them.

Rhode Island’s the Board of Education is scheduled to vote tonight on new standards for teacher preparation programs.

Rhode Island Public Radio's education reporter Elisabeth Harrison spoke with Karen Castagno, head of the education school at Rhode Island College who explained some of the changes they are looking at.

Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island College has seen a nearly 60 percent increase in the number of veterans on campus since 2009.

RIC has taken steps to better serve veterans, including opening a Veterans’ Resource Center, which helps connect veterans to a wide variety of services, including federal and state tuition assistance.

The center also employs student veterans in work study positions and makes regular phone calls to veterans to see how they are doing. RIC says the calls are a way of checking in on student veterans, who may not visit the resource center but may still have questions.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

At Rhode Island College an ambitious project is underway. A group of faculty and students is building online tours of the capital city’s historic North Burial Ground.

Rhode Island College political science professor Francis Leazes admits he’s hooked on cemeteries. And in his view there is no finer from an historical perspective than Providence’s North Burial Ground on North Main Street.

RI State Police Crack Down on Underage Drinking

Sep 19, 2013
Flo Jonic / RIPR

State police are going all out this year to combat underage drinking. A task force has been monitoring places where underage drinking has historically been a problem.

State police Colonel Steven O’Donnell said a task force comprised of state, municipal and campus police has been formed to address the problem of underage drinking.   Since the beginning of September

they’ve investigated 30 nightclubs and several house parties near college campuses. Twenty-six people were summoned to appear in court on charges of alcohol possession by an underage person.

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