Returning Home to the Ocean State

“Thank you for flying Southwest.  We know you have many choices and we’re glad you chose us”. The captain says something to that effect, as we land in Warwick, Rhode Island (RI); although it’s known as the Providence International Airport (PVD), it’s in the city of Warwick, home of the former Rocky Point Amusement Park and the Shore Dinner Hall. I’m in my home state to visit Roger Williams University (RWU) and Salve Regina University (SRU), two of the twelve institutions of higher education in the Ocean State.

“No, I don’t need a GPS”, I tell the young woman at the car rental counter. “I’m home”, I proclaim excitedly. As it turns out, she is a classmate of my eldest son and sends greetings to him.  Rhode Island – only 1.5 degrees of separation! Driving on 95 and the side streets of RI, I am reacquainted quickly with potholes as I navigate my way around them (it’s like once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget).

Leaving early the next morning for a 9 AM information session and tour at Roger Williams University, the fog-shrouded roads precludes any pictures of the scenic water views of RWU, located on the Mt. Hope Bay in Bristol. The lone visitor for this session, the admission counselor conducts the information session for me and then my tour guide, a junior from Massachusetts, majoring in Biology, escorts me around campus.

Roger Williams, with 45+ majors and 70 minors, requires first and second year students to take classes in the CORE curriculum, which provides a liberal arts foundation.  Additionally, the First Year Experience and Living Learning Communities provide other avenues for students to engage with fellow students. With just under 4,000 undergraduates, RWU has no classes in lecture halls along with no teacher assistants.

RWU has several accelerated programs of interest:

  • Psychology 4 +1 = B.A. (Psychology) + Master’s (Forensic Psychology)
  • Historic Preservation 3+1 or 4+1 = B.S./M.S. in Historic Preservation
  • Justice Studies 3+3 = B.S.(Legal Studies) + JD (RWU School of Law)
  • Justice Studies 4 + 1 = B.S./M.S (Criminal Justice)

Guaranteed housing exists for all four years with six residence halls on campus and two off campus options, along with special interest housing. Freshmen qualify for future on campus options on a merit point system, along with other factors.

Looking for leadership opportunities?   The SOAR program focuses on three levels of leadership, Emerge, Develop, and Lead, encompassing seven critical values. To assist students with tracking their activities outside of the classroom, like SOAR, Roger Williams has the Co-Curricular Transcript.

RWU established its Affordable Excellence plan in 2012 to address concerns about affordability and other issues on the value of a college education. Cost of attendance is approximately $46,000 ( more for Architecture) with an average institutional grant of $12,963 with average financial aid packages estimated at $20,800 (includes loans and work study).  Merit scholarships range from $4,000 to full tuition.

A member of The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC), Roger Williams has 22 Division III teams; the equestrian and sailing teams are co-ed.  The Richard L. Bready Mount Hope Bay Sailing and Education Center, scheduled for a March 2015 groundbreaking, will add to the prestige of the nationally ranked sailing program.

One of my favorite parts of the tour was learning about one of the activities of the International Cultural Center.  The center has a communal kitchen, which runs a food pantry for students challenged financially. Additionally, it houses many programs and organizations that reflect the diversity of our country.

All too soon, the tour came to end because my tour guide had a class and I needed to get on the road to my next stop across the Mt. Hope Bridge.  Read about what I learned about Salve Regina University in my next posting.

Photos of Roger Williams University

Scroll to Top

May 2021 Update

Professional development continues to be a major factor in my work life. With physical visits to campuses curtailed during 2020 (most are re-opening for in-person visits), I spend about 7 -10 hours per week on virtual visits with college admission counselors. The IECA, one of my professional organizations, regularly conducts College Conversations, an hour-long presentation with time built in for Q & A. To date, members of IECA had sessions with the colleges on the chart. Additionally, I added to this list by facilitating sessions in my capacity as the college counselor for the Montessori School of Raleigh where, along with the students, we learned more about UNC Charlotte, UNC Wilmington, the College of Wooster, Queens University of Charlotte, Muhlenberg, Elon, Western Carolina, North Carolina Central, the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Did you know UNC Wilmington has a major in Coastal Engineering or that Western Carolina (along with UNC Pembroke and Elizabeth City State) is a NC Promise institution? A NC Promise school’s in-state tuition is $500 while non-residents pay $2500 per semester.

Our virtual world allows for hours upon hours of accessible college information sessions. I had to step back and limit myself to a reasonable number of hours of “college visits”.

I challenge my students regularly to move beyond their comfort zone and during the height of the pandemic, I stretched myself way beyond my level of comfort. I am one of 14 co-authors of Becoming The Shero, an anthology depicting the journeys of entrepreneurs at different stages of their lives. My story is in the Embracing the Pivot section.

Another way I stay current is through my new position at Providence College. As of August 2020, I am the College Supervisor for the School Counseling Program. What does the college supervisor do? I supervise the students in the program during their 2-semester internship at a school, where they are directly supervised by their Site Supervisor, a certified professional school counselor. It is the student teaching equivalent for school counseling.

Reading is a daily pleasure for me. Here are nine books (not in chronological order) that helped me to educate myself about current events and issues of social justice:

  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents ~ Isabel Wilkerson
  • How to Be An Anti-Racist ~ Ibram X. Kendi
  • Stamped From The Beginning ~ Ibram X. Kendi
  • I’m Still Here ~ Austin Channing Brown
  • The Color Of Law ~ Richard Rothstein
  • We Want To Do More Than Survive ~ Bettina Love
  • Down Along With That Devil’s Bones ~ Connor Towne O’Neill
  • Interrupting Racism: Equity and Social Justice in School Counseling ~ Rebecca Atkins & Alicia Oglesby
  • Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race ~ Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D.

To stay up-to-date on trends in college, career and paying for college, see my list of books under the “Parent Resources” tab.

I challenge my students to be lifelong readers. I am practicing what I preach. What are you reading today?

Get the STEPS …

Subscribe to our newsletter. Get tips and more.