Head of CCRI Faculty Union Says Raimondo’s “Free College” Students Not Ready, Not Succeeding

Tuesday, October 02, 2018


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Governor Gina Raimondo wants to expand the controversial free college tuition program

Community College of Rhode Island Faculty Association President Steve Murray blistered Governor Gina Raimondo's RI Promise program, after numbers were released last week by the school -- and is warning that the number of returning RI Promise students reported will likely include those students who did not meet the first year requirements for free tuition.

As GoLocal was first to report last week,  "Nearly 40 Percent of Raimondo’s 'Free College' Students at CCRI Did Not Return for 2nd Year" -- and now Murray is questioning of the returning students, how many successfully met the course load and grade point average standards necessary for free tuition in year two. 

"From what we have in this 'Enrollment Update' -- 38% of the RI Promise students failed to return for year two -- and of those that did return, we haven’t yet been told how many of the returnees failed to complete the first year successfully," said Murray, "I wouldn’t call RI Promise a success or a good use of the taxpayers money."

"I can’t imagine that of the 62% that returned that they all completed 30 credits with a 2.5 GPA. When the College finally chooses to release these numbers, I believe we will see that many RI Promise students did not successfully complete their first year," said Murray.

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CCRI faculty question the program

Assessing Program

"I don’t think I would have offered free tuition and the other financial incentives they are giving to these students. I don’t see how it encourages academic responsibility and accountability, and it sends the wrong message to the majority of our students who are not eligible for RI Promise, that they are somehow not as important to the College and the State as those who are given the free money," said Murray.

"Perhaps the money would have been better spent on preparing the 65% of high schools students who enroll at the College and are not ready for College courses, to begin with."

"Maybe a boot camp in the summer before they enroll to address some of their educational needs. Spending some of the money on smaller class sizes for students who need the extra help, and providing many more better-prepared counselors and tutors to help these students would have been a better use of these tax dollars," said Murray.

When reached on Friday, CCRI said they were finalizing the numbers. 

"We're still working on those numbers and will have them available early next week," said Kristen Cyr in an email. 

This story was first published 10/1/18 11:56 AM


Related Slideshow: CCRI Promise Report March 2018


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