Rhode Island College
The Rhode Island College Official Seal
|The Rhode Island State Normal School (1854–1871)
Rhode Island Normal School (1871–1920)
Rhode Island College of Education (1920–1959)
|Motto||Reach. Inspire. Connect.|
|President||Dr. Frank Sánchez|
|Location||Providence, Rhode Island, US|
|Campus||Suburban, 180 acres (688,000 m²)|
|Sports||19 varsity teams|
Rhode Island College (RIC) is a coeducational, state-supported comprehensive college founded in 1854, located in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Rhode Island College is the oldest of the three public institutions of higher education that operate under the aegis of the Board of Education; the two other institutions are the University of Rhode Island and the Community College of Rhode Island.
Rhode Island College was first established as the Rhode Island State Normal School by the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1854. Its creation can be attributed to the labors of Henry Barnard, the first state agent for education in Rhode Island who had established the Rhode Island Teachers Institute at Smithville Seminary in 1845, and his successor, Elisha Potter. The Rhode Island State Normal School was one of the nation's first normal schools (teacher preparatory schools), which grew out of the humanitarian groundswell of the mid-19th century spurred by educational missionaries like Horace Mann. The school attracted hard working young people who came chiefly from ordinary backgrounds, who wanted to teach and who had no other way of preparing themselves.
Not yet thoroughly convinced of the school's value, the General Assembly curtailed its financial support in 1857 and the school was moved to Bristol where it lingered until 1865 before closing. However, in 1869, the newly appointed state commissioner of education, Thomas W. Bicknell, began a vigorous personal campaign to revive the school. His efforts were rewarded in 1871 when the General Assembly unanimously voted a $10,000 appropriation for the school's re-opening in Providence.
Renamed the Rhode Island Normal School, the institution settled into a period of steady growth punctuated by periodic moves to larger quarters. The general favor won by the school, after its first difficult years had passed, was confirmed in 1898 when it moved into a large building specially constructed for it on Providence's Capitol Hill near the State House (this space is now occupied by the Providence Place mall).
At first, the Rhode Island Normal School offered admission to both high school graduates and non-graduates, with high school graduates expected to complete their studies in one year. However, by 1908 the program had been lengthened to two and a half years and restricted to high school graduates.
In 1920, the Rhode Island Normal School was renamed Rhode Island College of Education by order of the General Assembly. The college now offered a four-year program which upon a student's completion would grant a Bachelor of Education degree. At this time the observation school, which dated back to the 1890s, was renamed the Henry Barnard School. The college's graduate program also originated in the early 1920s and the first master's degrees were conferred in 1924.
For the next three decades the college remained a small teachers' college with a student body of four to six hundred men and women, most of whom went on to teach in the elementary and junior high schools of the state. Early in the 1950s that calm was shattered by intense debate that arose over the college's role in the state system of higher education and for a time serious doubt was cast on its continued existence. There were plans to merge the institution with Rhode Island's other four-year college, the University of Rhode Island. After careful consideration, the Board of Trustees of State Colleges decided to keep the college independent and strengthen it overall.
In 1958, the college was moved to its current campus in the Mount Pleasant section of Providence. In 1959, the Rhode Island Commission to Study Higher Education recommended the development of the institution into a general college which was approved by the General Assembly. Reflecting the broadening of purpose, the institution's name was changed to its current name Rhode Island College in 1959.
The East Campus includes the former grounds of the Rhode Island State Home and School, the first post-Civil War orphanage in the country. In recent years, many efforts have been undertaken by Rhode Island College and its benefactors to preserve the Yellow Cottage or Cottage C, one of the original structures from the State Home.
The academics at Rhode Island College received national recognition in 2011 when Forbes magazine ranked the college the 571st best college out of the 3,000 plus colleges and universities in the United States. Academic programs at Rhode Island College are divided into five colleges: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, the School of Management, the School of Nursing, and the School of Social Work. These schools offer more than 90 undergraduate and 30 graduate programs for students. Rhode Island College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Among the five colleges, individual departments have received additional accreditation from the following associations: Council on Social Work Education, National Association of Schools of Art and Design, National Association of Schools of Music, National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The James P. Adams Library is the main library serving the entire community in support of teaching and learning. Students, faculty, staff and the community have access to a wide variety of knowledge resources including electronic reference resources, e-books, databases, audiovisual materials, and special collections. The library is also the academic, social, and intellectual center of the campus, hosting a variety of lectures, exhibits and performances to the benefit of the campus community.
Students and faculty
With an enrollment predominantly from Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut, the institution historically has served as a "College of Opportunity" for first-generation college students.
66% of the student body are full-time students.
67% of enrolled students are female, and 33% of enrolled students are male.
Frank Sánchez is the tenth president, and 18th chief officer of Rhode Island College. The president is the chief executive officer; prior to 1920, the chief academic officer of the College was known as the principal.
|Principal||Years in Office|
|Dana P. Colburn||1854–1859|
|James C. Greenough||1871–1883|
|Thomas J. Morgan||1883–1888|
|George A. Littlefield||1889–1892|
|William E. Wilson||1892–1898|
|Charles S. Chapin||1901–1907|
|John L. Alger||1908–1920|
|President||Years in Office|
|John L. Alger||1920–1938|
|Lucius A. Whipple||1939–1950|
|William C. Gaige||1952–1966|
|Charles B. Willard||1973–1977|
|David E. Sweet||1977–1984|
|Carol J. Guardo||1986–1989|
- David Bennett, Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.
- Peter Boyer, composer.
- Sharon Ellen Burtman, 1995 US Women's Chess Champion.
- Maria Cimini, former Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.
- Viola Davis, a Tony Award winning, Emmy Award winning, and Academy Award nominated actress
- Gordon Fox, attorney and politician, formerly the Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.
- Allan Fung, an American politician and the first Asian-American mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island. Graduated in 1992.
- Ann Gale, American figurative painter.
- Raymond Gallison, Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.
- Maryellen Goodwin, Democratic member of the Rhode Island Senate.
- Robert J. Healey, attorney and politician, founder of Rhode Island's Cool Moose Party.
- Daniel Issa, Rhode Island State Senator.
- Nicholas Kettle, Republican member of the Rhode Island Senate.
- James Langevin, 2nd District Congressman from Rhode Island.
- J. Michael Lenihan, former Democratic member of the Rhode Island State Senate.
- Steven Libman, a nationally recognized performing arts leader known for producing dance, theatre, and multi-disciplinary performing arts series.
- John J. Lombardi, Democratic member of Providence City Council, and interim mayor following the conviction of Buddy Cianci
- Frank Lombardo, Democratic member of the Rhode Island Senate.
- Karen MacBeth, Republican member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.
- Justine Mainville, keyboardist, drummer, singer for Math the Band.
- Ron McLarty, a television actor and novelist. Graduated in 1969 and received an honorary doctorate in 2007.
- Mary Messier, Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.
- Harold Metts, Democratic member of the Rhode Island Senate, former member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.
- Patricia Morgan, Republican member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.
- Jennifer Mudge, theatre and television actress.
- William O'Brien, Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.
- Thomas Palangio, Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.
- Annie Smith Peck, mountaineer, educator, and suffragist.
- Roger Picard, Democratic member of the Rhode Island Senate.
- Juan Pichardo, Democratic member of the Rhode Island Senate.
- Leonidas Raptakis, Democratic member of the Rhode Island Senate.
- Anaridis Rodriguez, journalist and news anchor for The Weather Channel.
- Jim Rose, sports anchor for WLS-TV in Chicago.
- Adam Satchell, Democratic member of the Rhode Island Senate.
- James Sheehan, Democratic member of the Rhode Island Senate.
- Danny Smith, Executive Producer, writer, and voice actor for television's Family Guy.
- Maureen Taylor, genealogist and author.
- Mary Tucker Thorp, educator and public speaker who graduated in 1929, while also teaching. The school's first residence hall is named in her honor.
- Josephine Silone Yates, educator and chemist who was one of the first African-American women to hold a full professorship at a U.S. college or university.
- Shunee Yee, corporate executive.
There are 19 varsity sports: six in the fall, six in the winter, and seven in the spring. RIC is primarily a commuter school; its six residence halls house 1194 students.
Student activities and clubs on campus are governed and funded by Student Community Government, Inc., a semi-autonomous organization financed by the college's student activity fee, consisting of an executive board, parliament, and several committees. Student Parliament consists of 34 student positions and a number of by-lawed positions. Those positions include seats taken by administrators, faculty, staff and alumni. All student representatives of Student Parliament represent a constituency whose concerns they are supposed to represent throughout the academic year.
Active clubs on campus include The Anchor (newspaper), WXIN RIC Radio, Rhode Island College Programming, Future Elementary Education Teachers, Biology Club, Harambee, Debate Council, Henry Barnard School Mentors, L.I.F.E: Live, Inspire, Fight, Educate, Feminists United, Helping Others Promote Equality, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Latin American Student Organization, NSSLHA, Anchor TV, Rhode Island College Ballroom Dance Club, American Marketing Association chapter, the Ocean State Film Society, and the English Club. As of February 2015, there are 78 clubs on campus considered "active" by Student Community Government, Inc.
A new $30 million, energy efficient, LEED-certified residence hall (simply called "New Residence Hall" upon opening but later renamed "Penfield Hall") opened for the fall semester of 2007. The 125,000-square-foot (11,600 m2) building expanded the institution's existing housing capacity by 44%.
RIC also has a Campus Ministry called the "Interfaith Center" in the lower level of Donovan Dining Center, next door to the Unity Center. The center is non-denominational with many religions, ethnic groups, and academic concentrations represented.
The college's Music, Theatre and Dance department has a strong presence on campus. Tickets to performances are offered to students at a discounted rate.
Rhode Island College teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Anchormen are a member of the Little East Conference. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
Rhode Island College has recently seen an increase in "Greek" life on campus. The Greek Council has been reformed, as it now consists of two fraternities and three sororities. Fraternities at Rhode Island College include national groups Kappa Delta Phi and Iota Phi Theta. Sororities at Rhode Island College are Theta Phi Alpha national sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon (social) national sorority and Alpha Sigma Tau national sorority . The Rhode Island College Greek Life logo was designed by Alexander Colburn in November, 2011.
- As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
- About RIC - History
- NEA: Luminaries, NEA History, Leaders
- Rhode Island Colleges
- Rhode Island College Sesquicentennial
- I25511: Alva Jerome Vincent (14 Jul 1868 - 9 Mar 1905)
- "Dr. David E. Sweet, 51, Dies; Head of Rhode Island College". The New York Times. September 18, 1984. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "College President Named". The New York Times. October 20, 1985. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- Pezza, Kelly Sullivan (2015). Murder & Mayhem in Washington County, Rhode Island. Charleston, South Carolina: History Press. pp. 25–27. ISBN 978-1-62585-383-7.
- Kremer, Gary R.; Mackey, Cindy M. (1996). "'Yours for the Race': The Life and Work of Josephine Silone Yates". Missouri Historical Review. 90 (2): 199–215.
- Rhode Island College
- Rhode Island College Athletics
- History of the Rhode Island Normal School (1911)
- State Home and School Project
- The Anchor
- James P. Adams Library