Community College of Rhode Island

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Style guide

This guide supersedes other style guides. For items not listed here, please refer first to the Associated Press Stylebook and then to the to the Webster's New World Collegiate Dictionary.



AACC: American Association of Community Colleges

AAWCC: American Association of Women in Community Colleges

Abbreviations and acronyms: Do not use an abbreviation or acronym on first reference. Do not put the acronym in parentheses after the name. If the reader would not recognize the acronym on second reference without the parentheses, do not use it. Instead, use the full name or a reference to it. (Ex. First reference: The Hospital Association of Rhode Island. Second reference: the association.) Acronyms often used at CCRI are listed alphabetically.

academic degrees: Avoid using abbreviations and use a phrase instead. (Ex. Jane Doe, who has a doctorate in physics) Use an apostrophe in bachelor's degree and master's degree. There is no apostrophe in associate degree.
The types of degrees offered at CCRI are:

  • A.A. or associate in arts
  • A.S. or associate in science
  • A.A.S. or associate in applied science
  • A.F.A. or associate in fine arts
  • A.A.S.-T.S. or associate in applied science in technical studies

academic departments: Capitalize the name of the department and the word 'department' only when using the official name. (Ex. the Department of Allied Health, or the allied health department.)
The academic departments at CCRI are:

Department of

  • Allied Health
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Studies
  • Criminal Justice and Legal Studies
  • Dental Health
  • Engineering and Technology
  • English
  • Fire Science
  • Foreign Languages
  • Human Services
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Nursing
  • Administrative Office Technology
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Rehabilitative Health
  • Retail Management
  • Social Sciences
  • Theatre

ACT Center: acceptable on first reference

ACHE: Association for Continuing Higher Education

administrative departments/offices: Capitalize the name of the department and the word 'department' or 'office' only when using the official name. Ex. the Department of Marketing and Communications, or the Marketing and Communications department.
The administrative departments at CCRI are:

  • Office of Institutional Advancement
  • Office of Institutional Research and Planning
  • Office of Minority Affairs and Affirmative Action
  • Office of the President
    • Department of Marketing & Communications and Publications
    • Division for Lifelong Learning
  • Division of Academic Affairs
    • Office of the Dean of Business, Science & Technology
    • Office of the Dean of Health and Rehabilitative Sciences
    • Office of the Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Office of the Dean of Learning Resources
  • Division of Business Affairs
    • Office of the Controller
    • Department of Information Technology
    • Office of Personnel Services
    • Business Office
    • Office of the Dean of Administration
  • Division of Student Affairs
    • Department of Athletics
    • Office of Enrollment Services
    • Office of Advising and Counseling
    • Office of Student Life and Service Learning
    • Office of Special Programs
      • Department of EOC and ETS
      • Department of Student ACCESS and Mentoring
    • REACH Program

Alumnus, alumna, alumni, alumnae: Use alumnus (or alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school. Use alumna (or alumnae in the plural) for a woman. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women


BASA: Black American Student Association

BOG: Board of Governors, use as an acronym for internal use only: see RIBGHE


campuses: Capitalize when using the formal name of the campus: Knight Campus or Warwick campus; Flanagan Campus or Lincoln campus; Liston Campus or Providence campus; Newport County Campus. But: Flanagan and Knight campuses. If using the formal name in a communication to an audience that may not be familiar with it, be sure to state the location. (Ex. Flanagan Campus in Lincoln)

CCRI campus names are: Flanagan Campus, Knight Campus, Liston Campus, Newport County Campus. Satellite campuses are at Westerly Middle School, 10 Sandy Hill Road, Westerly, and in Downcity Providence, at the URI Feinstein Providence Campus located in the former Shepard Building, 80 Washington St., Providence.

campuswide: one word

CATC: Center for Advanced Technology Careers

CCRI: All capital letters. Use only after identifying the college by the full name, except in titles or headlines

CDL: commercial driver's license

chairman, chairwoman: use chair in all cases, also co-chair

classes, courses: lowercase when referring to courses in general, such as a science course, but capitalize when referring to a specific course, such as Computer Basics or COMI 1000

classroom: one word

CLEP: College Level Examination Program

CLT: clinical laboratory technology

CNA: certified nursing assistant

College and community college: Lowercase unless part of the formal title. Community College of Rhode Island, but the college.

commas: see punctuation

CO-OP: All capital letters. Or use cooperative education.

course work: two words, not hyphenated

CWCE: The Center for Workforce and Community Education, the college's noncredit arm. Spell out on first reference and use "the Center" or CWCE on second reference.


database: one word

dates: Spell out days of the week. Spell out months without days, such as October 2011. Abbreviate months with days, such as Aug. 12, 2011, except for March, April, May, June and July. Do not use a comma between a month and a year when the day is not mentioned.

dean's list: lowercase in all uses

degrees: see academic degrees

Downcity: one word in reference to the Shepard Building Providence

DSS: Disability Services for Students



ensure vs. insure: use "ensure" unless referring to a paid insurance policy

EOC: Educational Opportunity Center

ESL: English as a second language

ETS: Educational Talent Search

exhibit/exhibition: Use the noun form, exhibition, to refer to a gallery show or display



FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid

FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

full time, full-time, part time, part-time: Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier. She works full time. She is a full-time employee.

Fundraising, fundraiser


GED®: Stands for general educational development; GED® is acceptable on first reference but it is an adjective and must be followed by "degree" or "diploma" and be used with the registered trademark symbol.

GEENA: Gender and Ethnic Equity Networking Assistance; GEENA Project acceptable on first reference


health care: two words

home page: two words, no caps; see Web page

hyphens: Use a hyphen to avoid confusion, such as recover or re-cover. Use suspensive hyphenation, such as both full- and part-time students.


IAAP: International Association of Administrative Professionals

inner city, inner-city: hyphenate when used as an adjective ex. an inner-city school

instructor: always lowercase

insure: see ensure

international characters: go to

Internet: capitalize

IPEDS: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System; IPEDS acceptable on first reference

IT: information technology





LASO: Latin American Student Organization


MJSA: Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America


NEACRO: New England Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

NEASC: New England Association of Schools and Colleges



Numbers: Spell out numbers one through nine, use numerals for numbers above nine. Do not use 'th' or 'st' for dates. (Ex. May 10, not May 10th). Use 's' without apostrophe when referring to decades. (Ex. the 1960s). Use apostrophe when referring to graduating class (Class of '09; Jane Smith '84).


OES: Office of Enrollment Services

OHE: Office of Higher Education


Phone numbers: Use area code for anything that may be circulated out of state. 401-825-1000




President Ray Di Pasquale: on second reference President Di Pasquale or the president (not capitalized)

punctuation: use serial commas only to prevent confusion, ex. The departments of nursing, English, and engineering and technology ... or The departments of nursing, English and fine arts ...




RIBGHE: Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education (use BOG for internal reference only)


SCALE: Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education

SEA: Students for Environmental Action

SECETAL: Spanish/English Center for Technology and Language

semester: use caps when using the term as a title, ex. Fall 2004 semester, or register for Fall 2004; do not capitalize when referring to the fall semester without a year

SNO: Student Nurses' Organization

SOL: Speakers of Other Languages

SPATE: Secondary/Post-secondary Articulation in Technology Education


text books

time and date references: List events in order of time, date, place; for example: The forum will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 18, in the Bobby Hackett Theater at the CCRI Knight Campus in Warwick. Use the word "to" instead of a hyphen when describing times; for example: The clinic will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 15.

Titles: Capitalize job titles if immediately preceding the name of the office holder.
(Ex. Professor of English Jane Smith and Professor Jane Smith, but Jane Smith, professor) Note: capitalize Acting when part of a title preceding the name)


URLs in text: do not use http://, do not break a line on a hyphen in the URL


vice president: no hyphen


Web: Capitalize in all cases when referring to the World Wide Web

website, Web page

WIA: Workforce Investment Act

workforce: now one word in all uses




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Last Updated: 4/1/15