“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