Summit brings education leaders to RI

Warwick, RI--On October 13, 2017, the Higher RI Summit brought together national, regional, and local leaders to focus on postsecondary education in Rhode Island. Watch the video.

Hosted by Commissioner Brenda Dann-Messier, the event was an opportunity to hear from education and industry leaders, lawmakers, community members, students and many others as part of the state’s efforts to increase the number of Rhode Islanders with a postsecondary degree or credential. The core of the summit comprised four discussion panels on equity, affordability, workforce innovation, and strengthening partnerships (see full agenda). 

 “By 2025, I want 70 percent of Rhode Islanders to have some kind of degree or credential past high school,” Governor Gina M. Raimondo said in her opening remarks. “Today’s economy gives us no other option-- you need that education or training in order to succeed. I am laser-focused on creating jobs and opportunity in Rhode Island, but we can’t do that without a solid postsecondary foundation. Today’s summit is focused on improving equity, affordability and innovation so that we can set every Rhode Islander up for success.”

“Under the leadership of Governor Raimondo, Rhode Island has set a very ambitious attainment goal -- that by 2025, 70 percent of all Rhode Islanders will have earned a postsecondary certification or degree,” said Brenda Dann-Messier, Commissioner of Postsecondary Education. “I believe we can reach it, and we are developing a comprehensive plan that includes system-wide policies, effective, research-based strategies, and best practices to scale statewide.”

Featured guests included Governor Gina Raimondo; Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO of the Lumina Foundation; Dr. David Dooley, President of the University of Rhode Island; Dr. Meghan Hughes, President of the Community College of Rhode Island; and Dr. Frank Sánchez, President of Rhode Island College, along with a host of national, state, and local leaders.

The summit was organized by the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner, a public agency supporting the work of the Council on Postsecondary Education in providing an excellent, accessible and affordable system of higher education designed to improve the overall educational attainment of the citizens of Rhode Island, support economic development, and enrich the civic, social and cultural life of all living in the state of Rhode Island. 

The event was sponsored by the Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. 

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