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Community College of Rhode Island

Contact Information

Ray Di Pasquale Ray Di Pasquale

Knight Campus
Room 3328
[campus map]
400 East Ave.
Warwick, RI 02886

Fax: 401-825-2166
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Vice President Lamontagne Liberal Arts Celebration remarks

April 6, 2015

Good Afternoon.

It's wonderful to take some time during the academic year to celebrate and reflect on the value of a liberal arts education.

Given the current landscape of higher education, more than ever we need to understand and highlight the role that community colleges play in the delivery of a Liberal Arts education.

An education that helps students:

  • To think with rigor and creativity;
  • To develop discipline so they can see things through to completion;
  • To become engaged civically - impacting the community, locally and globally;
  • To approach problems from multiple perspectives;
  • To communicate with confidence;
  • To understand their own history and culture and those of people around the globe;
  • To challenge the status quo and;
  • To always act with empathy and (importantly) integrity.

In a recent report, the National Student Clearinghouse® Research Center™ found that
46 percent of students who completed a degree at a four-year institution were enrolled at a two-year institution.

In fact, when you drill down a bit more on this phenomenon, we see that 65 percent of these baccalaureate completers were enrolled at a two-year college for three or more terms.

Let's reflect on that for a minute.

Not only does this tell us something about the foundational role that community colleges play in preparing students for their journey as life-long learners.

But it also tell us something about the crucial role community colleges play in providing a liberal arts education to students who transfer to four-year colleges.

For these students – most, if not all of their liberal arts education will be completed at the community college, before transferring on to their major field of study at the 4 year college.
The trends are clear – more and more students are beginning their post-secondary journey at community colleges. Now more than ever, our dedication to a rigorous Liberal Arts component in our curricula is essential.

In the 21st century, we (the community colleges) are the stewards of the Liberal Arts.

I look forward to today's program and conversations.

Thank you.

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Last Updated: 3/6/18