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Unique partnership to provide contextualized education and development opportunities in support of each city’s economic development efforts
Roger Williams University School of Continuing Studies and the Cities of Central Falls and Pawtucket today announced a pair of unprecedented partnerships to deliver tailored programming to residents and community based organizations whose grassroots efforts provide critical support to their populations.
“Partnering with Central Falls and Pawtucket is an exceptional opportunity for Roger Williams and the School of Continuing Studies to deliver on our commitment to work collaboratively with communities to provide cultural and ecological contextualized economic development,” said Roger Williams University President Donald J. Farish. “We hope that this is just the first of many partnerships with municipalities where RWU can continue to provide a revolutionary model of engagement and immersion in Rhode Island’s urban communities.”
Working together with community-based organizations and local government officials, RWU will develop customized educational and certificate programming for Central Falls and Pawtucket residents, including workforce development and degree completion programs, and dual enrollment opportunities for middle and high school students that align to each city’s economic development goals.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with a higher education institution like Roger Williams University, along with President Farish and Dean Scurry, to bring a wide array of opportunities for our youth and residents,” Central Falls Mayor James Diossa said. “We are all on the same page that workforce development and access to higher education is critical to our city’s future.”
“The communities of Pawtucket and Central Falls have partnered on many other initiatives in the past, but this new partnership is particularly exciting because it allows us to collaborate with the non-profit sector to ensure that the residents of our two communities are able to pursue opportunities to further their education and professional development,” Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien said. “Our communities will be better-positioned for future growth with a highly-trained and educated work force.”
The new partnership highlights the School of Continuing Studies’ efforts to meet people where they are and support diverse communities throughout the state. Courses, including some available in Spanish, will be offered at the University’s new Providence Campus, as well as at the high schools in Central Falls and Pawtucket. The agreement includes a reduced tuition structure for students, and all of the educational opportunities will align with both cities’ current economic development efforts and priorities.
“Central Falls and Pawtucket present a unique opportunity for the School of Continuing Studies to develop a strategic relationship with an entire community to remove the barriers to education and workforce development that so often discourage engaged individuals from completing their degree or taking the next steps toward their career goals,” said RWU School of Continuing Studies Dean Jamie Scurry. “It’s an innovative partnership because, while other universities traditionally partner with a single community based organization or municipal department, Roger Williams is taking a more inclusive approach by engaging with entire cities. It is critical that we work collaboratively and create synergies that will reinforce each city’s economic development efforts, while at the same time supporting the needs of these multicultural communities with incredibly personalized educational opportunities.”
With campuses on the coast of Bristol and in the heart of Providence, R.I., Roger Williams University is a forward-thinking private university committed to strengthening society through engaged teaching and learning. At RWU, small classes, direct access to faculty and guaranteed opportunity for real-world projects ensure that its nearly 4,000 undergraduates – along with hundreds of law students, graduate students and adult learners – graduate with the ability to think critically along with the practical skills that today’s employers demand. Roger Williams is leading the way in American higher education, confronting the most pressing issues facing students and families – increasing costs, rising debt and job readiness. Since launching the signature Affordable Excellence initiative in 2011, RWU has held the line on cost, freezing tuition for an unprecedented five consecutive years and guaranteeing that tuition for continuously enrolled full-time students.
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- Mayor Donald R. Grebien