In recent times, higher education has been putting a greater emphasis on collaboration not only between students, but also between universities. Many schools now partner with other universities to share classes, resources and facilities, with the prime example being the Colleges of the Fenway in Boston, Massachusetts. This leaves students at the University of Rhode Island wondering what URI is doing to increase student networking.
“I think they’re great in theory,” Dean Libutti, vice provost for enrollment management, said. “The challenge with them is making the finances work and the space availability work.”
Libutti explained that universities commonly work together for two reasons: proximity and size. The first is that universities, especially in cities, can be close together allowing the students easier access to each campus. The second is that smaller universities tend to lack certain resources. So by partnering with another smaller school they can share their strengths and make up their lack of resources.
However, Libutti argues that even though URI is a large school with a lot of resources, the University can still benefit from university partnering by increasing their efficiency. That is why the University set up the Interinstitutional Exchange Program (IEP). The exchange program allows students to take upwards of seven credits per semester at either the Community College of Rhode Island or at Rhode Island College for no additional cost.
“We value students bringing credits in and connecting with the system,” Libutti said. “We are always looking to expand the Rhode Island partnership with URI, RIC and CCRI.”
The program allows students to have greater options when it comes to scheduling in case students cannot get into a class, or find a class in the right time slot. The program is also designed for students to explore classes and other programs CCRI and RIC offer that URI does not. For instance, CCRI offers technical and health certifications that you cannot get at URI.
The credits from the program transfer into your degree and can fulfill major, general education and elective credit. In order to see how each class transfer over, you can go to the URI transfer resource website to see a complete list of classes and transfer. While the credit may transfer, the grade does not and so therefore the classes will not count for your GPA. Instead, on your transcript it will display the a ‘T’ signalling it was a transfer credit.
“We do at times have conversations with some of the other schools in doing more programs,” Libutti said. “It is just a challenge when one is a state school and one is a private school and that’s why we’re continuing to have those conversations as we continue to build out the one that is really a great resource to students.”
In order to take advantage of the program, students have to go to the transfer resource center’s website and fill out the exchange program form and get it signed by their registrar.
Interinstitutional Exchange Program website: http://www.ritransfers.org/interinstitutional-exchange-program/
Transfer course database: http://www.ritransfers.org/how-courses-transfer/