8/13/21: Per Executive Order, all visitors to Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner, Westerly Education Center and R.I. Nursing Education Center must wear a face mask until further notice.

Strategic Plan

The coordinated strategic plan for education in RI was passed unanimously by the Board of Education at its meeting on October 28, 2015. Included was the specific plan for higher education: “Sailing Ahead: Strategic Plan for Postsecondary Education (2015-2020).” The plan offered the following four priorities as a framework for setting goals, initiating policies and programs, and measuring success in public higher education in Rhode Island through 2020 and plans are underway to update it:

  • Higher Attainment
  • Opportunities to Access and Afford College
  • Prosperous Economy
  • Effective Institutions 


"Hope is the Rhode Island state motto, and there are many reasons to be optimistic about public postsecondary education in Rhode Island."

Higher Attainment

RI attainment targets

Opportunities to Access and Afford College

affordability targets

Prosperous Economy

workforce targets  

Effective Institutions

effectiveness targets 

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

The postsecondary plan is one piece in the larger Rhode Island Strategic Plan for Public Education, which lays out the vision for a comprehensive PK-20 system, including areas of joint work between PK-12 and postsecondary systems. In order to ensure the success of students and educators across the PK-20 continuum, the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (RIDE) and the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner (OPC) are committed to partnering together on areas of joint work, which fall into the following three priority areas:

  • Workforce readiness
  • Early college access and success
  • annual report
    Teacher preparation

The success of this joint plan depends on the ability to collect, analyze, and report data across both systems. Comprehensive and coordinated data analysis will improve decision-making, support greater transparency and alignment, and promote student success.

Since the plan was passed in 2015, higher education leaders from the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner and the public institutions of higher education have worked to implement strategies that advance these priorities. The 2016 Annual Report gives an overview of progress as measured through key indicators for each priority.