Adult Learners

student prof

Entering college for the first time or returning to continue your education is a big step. But you are not alone. Currently, in Rhode Island, only 47% of adults over 25 years old hold an associate's degree or higher. Additionally, more than 1 in 6 Rhode Islanders, or over 128,000 adults, have completed some college without obtaining a degree.

The Rhode Island Board of Education considers an adult student anyone who is 25 years or older, but we also recognize that students of any age may carry adult responsibilities such as parenthood or full-time employment. Work schedules, families and other obligations can make it difficult to go to college, but Rhode Island colleges and universities have expanded programs to fit your busy life and meet the job requirements of today's workplace.


Regardless of what brought you here, we are happy that you came.


Are you:


Click the links above to learn more based on your needs. 

Returning to College to Complete a degree


Recent census figures estimate that there are as many as 150,000 Rhode Islanders who have some postsecondary education but have not completed their degree. Enabling adult learners to complete their degrees is key to reaching Governor Raimondo's ambitious attainment goal of 70% attainment by 2025. 

There are also resources available for returning learners on each campus:


Center for Educational Opportunity @ CCRI

Liston Campus, Rm 2254, 1 Hilton St, Providence, RI 02905



Finish Strong @ RIC

600 Mt. Pleasant Ave, Providence, RI 02908



Finish-What-You-Started @ URI

Roosevelt Hall, 90 Lower College Rd, Kingston, RI 02881

Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education, 80 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903-1803




 Reverse Transfer - Do you have enough credits for an Associate degree?


Reverse transfer enables students to apply credits they earned at a four-year institution toward an associate degree or certificate at a two-year institution. In Rhode Island, the reverse transfer policy allows individuals to apply credits from the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College toward a degree or certificate at the Community College of Rhode Island. 

To be eligible for this program, students must meet CCRI degree or certificate requirements, including completing at least 15 credits at CCRI. Students can also apply credits earned through prior learning assessments, which award college credit for applicable work experience, employer training, military service, independent study, non-credit courses, volunteer or community service, or non-college courses or seminars.


In this section learn:

  1. How it works
  2. Why it is important to get an Associate's degree
  3. What you need to do


How It Works

In Rhode Island, current and former students of URI, RIC, and CCRI can complete an associate degree in Accounting, General Business, General Studies, Liberal Arts, or Science by transferring credits back to CCRI. 

To earn an associate degree through reverse transfer, students need

  • At least 60 college-level credits (with at least 15 from CCRI)
  • Combined GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Any financial obligations resolved
  • Transcript review

There is no cost associated with this program. Even if you don't have enough credits to earn the degree yet, you can still participate. After reviewing your transcripts, CCRI advisors will help you figure out which courses you need to complete your associate or certificate.

If you have more questions about how Reverse Transfer works, please contact the records office at your institution or the Reverse Transfer Advisor at CCRI (, 401-333-7092). 


Why is it important to get an Associate Degree?

  • Having an associate degree can help you earn more since pay raises, certifications, and promotions are often tied to higher credentials. The median lifetime earnings of individuals with an associate degree is 27% higher than the earnings of a high school graduate.
  • Having an associate degree provides better job opportunities, even while you work toward a bachelor's degree.

  • Having an associate degree improves your chances of completing your bachelor's degree by creating academic momentum.


 What You Need to Do

URI Students (current or former)

1) Log in to e-campus and request your transcript be sent to 

CCRI Records Department

Attn: Reverse Transfer

1762 Louisquisset Pike

Lincoln, RI 02865

RIC Students (current or former)

1) Log in to myRIC and request your transcript be sent to 

CCRI Records Department

Attn: Reverse Transfer

1762 Louisquisset Pike

Lincoln, RI 02865

Students from other institutions

1) Request official copies of your transcripts from all colleges or universities attended and have them sent to 

CCRI Records Department

Attn: Reverse Transfer

1762 Louisquisset Pike

Lincoln, RI 02865


2) Complete the CCRI Reverse Transfer Application and send to the same address (CCRI Records Department, Attn: Reverse Transfer, 1762 Louisquisset Pike, Lincoln, RI 02865).              

3) After reviewing your transcript, CCRI advisors will contact you by mail with next steps.


If you have any questions about Reverse Transfer, you can contact the enrollment services office at your institution or the Reverse Transfer Advisor at CCRI (, 401-333-7092).  


Enrolling in College for the first time


If you're an adult who is thinking about getting more education to make a better life for yourself and your family, you're not alone. More and more adults are improving their skills and learning new skills by enrolling in college. The best resource for adults considering enrolling in school is the Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) located at CCRI, which provides free, individualized support finding and applying to the school that fits your goals. The EOC can help you complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and find other financial aid to help with college expenses.

Please note, you do NOT have to be applying to CCRI to benefit from the EOC's services or guidance, they provide support for ALL adult students, no matter what school they are applying to. 

Educational Opportunity Center

 Job Training 


If you are interested in programs that are specifically designed to prepare you for the workforce, we have options for you to review! 

View a list of approved proprietary schools (these are educational institutions operated by private, profit-seeking businesses) in Rhode Island here.

View OPC's workforce development programs: 

  1. Westerly Education Center
  2. Rhode Island Nursing Education Center
  3. Northern RI 

Resources for Veterans


OPC is proud to support programs for the brave men and women who have served Rhode Island and our country in the armed forces. To learn more, please view our Veterans Resources page here