Roger Williams University, located in Bristol, R.I., recently joined The New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U), a consortium of colleges and universities that purposefully integrate liberal education, professional studies and civic engagement.
“The approach to education at Roger Williams University mirrors that of our members,” said Nancy Hensel, president of NAC&U. “Their emphasis on blending strong liberal arts programs with well-regarded professional schools while providing experiential education through community service, study abroad and undergraduate research makes Roger Williams an ideal fit for our organization.”
NAC&U members are small- to medium-sized institutions across the nation that are committed to providing hands-on, project-based learning so that students can connect theory to practice and classroom learning to real-world situations. Members also emphasize civic responsibility from a local, regional and global perspective.
For Roger Williams, the invitation to join NAC&U comes three years after the launch of its Affordable Excellence initiative, which has positioned RWU at the leading edge of the national dialogue on cost, debt and job-preparedness for today’s college graduates. In addition to encouraging undergraduates to develop expertise in both the liberal arts and a professional program, the University has greatly expanded opportunities for meaningful experiential learning projects rooted in local communities, many of which are facilitated through its five-year-old Community Partnerships Center.
“The invitation to partner with NAC&U offers us the unique opportunity to join forces with a select group of institutions that share our commitment to preparing a diverse array of students for successful careers and fulfilling lives,” said Donald J. Farish, president of Roger Williams University. “Collectively, we can demonstrate the potential for higher education to transform the lives of students and provide the skills and experiences needed for a lifetime of working toward the greater good of society.”
NAC&U affords its members many opportunities to collaborate on projects and share best practices through events such as its annual Summer Institute, grant-funded projects such as its recent Teagle Foundation-funded monograph, “Redefining the Paradigm: Faculty Models to Support Student Learning,” and multi-campus projects, such as its Civic Engagement Collaborative, which will launch in Fall 2015.
About Roger Williams University
Roger Williams University, located on the coast of Bristol, R.I., is a forward-thinking private university with 45 undergraduate majors spanning the liberal arts and the professions, where students become community-minded citizens through project-based, experiential learning. With small classes, direct access to faculty and boundless opportunity for real-world projects, RWU students develop the ability to think critically while simultaneously building the practical skills that today’s employers demand. In the three years since launching its signature Affordable Excellence initiative, the University has established itself as a leader in American higher education by confronting the most pressing issues facing students and families – increasing costs that limit access to college, rising debt and the job readiness of graduates. In addition to its 4,000 undergraduates, RWU is home to more than a dozen graduate programs, a thriving School of Continuing Studies based in Providence as well as Rhode Island’s only law school.
Quick Facts about Roger Williams University
- Founded: 1956, initially as Roger Williams Junior College
- Leadership: Donald J. Farish, Ph.D., J.D.
- Enrollment: 5,255 students (undergraduate day students: 4,011; graduate, law and continuing studies: 1,244)
- Recent Highlights and Initiatives:
- Tuition freeze and four-year tuition guarantee since 2012
- Expanded campus in Providence, R.I., scheduled to open in May 2016
- 1,354 students participated in 155 Community Partnerships Center projects since its 2010 launch
- An emerging focus on project-based, experiential learning across the university
- Living Learning Communities and First Year Experience for freshmen
- Reimagined student services via the Center for Student Academic Success
- New majors in journalism, biochemistry, music, cybersecurity and more
- Athletics: NCAA Division III
- School colors: Blue and gold
- Mascot: Hawks