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House OKs McNamarra Bill Setting Higher Learning Goals, Records

The Rhode Island State House is located at 82 Smith St. Providence.
The Rhode Island State House is located at 82 Smith St. Providence.
The Rhode Island State House is located at 82 Smith St. Providence.

Warwick, RI – The RI House of Representatives has passed legislation by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) requiring records of students’ academic progress and the development of strategies increasing graduates of state higher learning institutions.

The Complete College Rhode Island Act (2015-H 5077A) passed the House 71 to 0, and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

“For years we have been talking about closing the skills gap, and providing the kind of education necessary for good jobs of the new century and re-training individuals properly to fill the positions that businesses say they are offering,” said McNamara.

“We cannot know if we are closing the skills gap or if we are doing what is necessary to increase the numbers of students attaining college degrees without a thorough study and a collection of pertinent data about those students,” McNamara said.

The legislation would direct the Council on Post-Secondary Education to establish statewide goals that are school specific for increasing the number of graduates who earn certificates and degrees at both two- and four-year post-secondary schools. The council would also be charged with developing recommendations for financial incentives tied to meeting these goals.

The data that would be compiled and presented to the governor and the General Assembly would include the number of students taking developmental remediation courses, graduation rates for students who have enrolled in developmental education courses, and the number of post-secondary schools students at each state institution and the number of credit hours per semester they are taking.

“Collecting this kind of data and analyzing it will be very helpful in developing and implementing strategies for improving preparation for college as well as enrollment and completion rates, especially for nontraditional students,” said Representative McNamara.


Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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