Strategic Plan

Every five years, Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner leads the development of a strategic plan that articulates a vision for improving the higher education landscape in our state. The goals and objectives within it are aligned with those of the Board of Education and the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, and with the activities of the private higher education sector, where feasible because no unit should act independent of the others. Developed after months of engagement with Rhode Islanders, our office created a plan that represents the collective voice of our stakeholder community.OPC Strategic Plan cover image

The plan offered the following five priorities as a framework for setting goals, initiating policies and programs, and measuring success in public higher education in Rhode Island through 2027:

  • Equity
  • Affordability
  • Adult success
  • Alignment with state workforce and economic development priorities



  • By June 2023, OPC will lead the revisions of the Council on Postsecondary Education’s equity policy and the development of an equity action plan for the RI postsecondary system.
  • By June 2023, OPC, in partnership with institutions of higher education, will complete a system-wide initiative to revise and expand the state’s approach to student transfer from its two-year college to four-year institutions.
  • By December 2023, 100% of OPC staff will have participated in diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development.
  • By December 2023, OPC will develop and recommend to the Council strategies to enhance enrollment and retention efforts at each of the public colleges.
  • By June 2025, OPC will lead a statewide equity policy and practice review to remove systemic barriers that disproportionately affect communities of color and other underrepresented groups.


  • By December 2023, OPC will report to state policy makers on the implications of expanding state-funded scholarship programs.
  • By December 2024, OPC will develop a predictable funding policy for consideration by the State Legislature.
  • By June 2027, the statewide FAFSA completion rate will be at 80% among graduating high school students, demonstrating measurable progress each year.
  • By June 2027, OPC will measure, evaluate, and advance private investment in student outcomes, and establish a system-wide public/private investment strategy that supports Rhode Island students.

Adult success

  • By June 2023, OPC will conduct a gap analysis of the support structures for adults and offer recommendations for improvement for policy makers.
  • By December 2023, OPC will develop a credential registry to assist adult learners in enrolling in educational and workforce training programs.
  • By June 2024, OPC, in partnership with RI’s institutions of higher education, will coordinate the development of a statewide strategy for credit attainment through prior learning assessments and course completions.
  • By June 2024, OPC, in partnership with RI’s institutions of higher education, will develop and coordinate a system-wide process through its RI Reconnect program to reengage students with some college and no degree.
  • OPC will work with the nonprofit community to align and advance student services that support smooth transitions for adults into postsecondary education and training.

Alignment with state workforce and economic development priorities

  • By December 2022, OPC will have workforce training programming at its three education centers (Providence, Westerly, and Woonsocket).
  • By June 2023, OPC, in collaboration with state partners, will develop a plan to improve the state’s longitudinal data system to provide better information on career pathways and outcomes.
  • By June 2023, OPC will develop and implement a process with industry partners and government agencies to understand and address current and future workforce gaps.
  • By June 2027, OPC will facilitate the enrollment of three thousand underemployed Rhode Islanders, including BIPOC, immigrant, justice-involved, and low-income students, in workforce training programs.

Secondary to postsecondary transitions

  • By June 2025, OPC, in collaboration with RIDE, will increase students participating in early college opportunities by 10%.
  • By June 2027, OPC will help to close racial completion gaps in early college opportunities by 25% through increasing access and participation in programs such as, but not limited to, dual and concurrent enrollment and AP coursework and exams.


Areas of Joint Work: Council on Elementary and Secondary Education | Council on Postsecondary Education

annual report BOE & OPC cover

Rhode Island’s Strategic Plan for Public Education: 2022-2027 is a comprehensive plan that lays out a vision for an education system that offers every Rhode Island student the opportunity to be a lifelong learner. This plan unifies the strategic plans of Rhode Island Department of Education and the RI Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner. Within, there are ambitious, achievable goals to build a stronger, more resilient educational system across our state that will allow every Rhode Island student to succeed. The plan is divided into three sections: A strategic plan for PK-12 education; a strategic plan for postsecondary education; and a combined plan that outlines the priorities between both systems. The coordinated strategic plan for education in Rhode Island was passed unanimously by the Board of Education at its meeting on February 22, 2022. 

Education is the cornerstone of a prepared workforce and a flourishing society, and this plan has been designed with full certainty that if we achieve the goals set, we can create a better life for all. Laying out the priorities, commitments, and goals in this document is only the beginning of shared efforts to improve Rhode Island’s education system. It will take a long, constant effort to bring them to fruition over the next five years and to reach the ambitious benchmarks. There is no doubt that if we set our sights on a better education system and forge forward as one, we can make it a reality.