Rhode Island College, Office of College Communications and Marketing, News Release


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island College will host a celebration of the first anniversary of its partnership with the Central Falls School District – The Innovation Lab – on Saturday, May 3, 9-11 a.m., in Alger Hall Room 110, 600 Mt. Pleasant Ave.

The showcase event brings together the Central Falls and RIC students, faculty, parents and community partners who have created a wide range of mutually beneficial learning-based projects.

Launched in 2013, the Central Falls/RIC Innovation Lab is a unique, first-in-the-nation collaboration designed as a catalyst for creating a vibrant shared community where new models of learning, teaching and services are developed, piloted and researched.

Through the Innovation Lab, RIC students are on site at Central Falls for experiential learning. Central Falls students also regularly travel to RIC to participate in college-based experiences. RIC's participation includes students and faculty from education, social work, community health and wellness and continuing education.

“While Central Falls has opportunities to help our students and families, we are small and limited in what we can do on our own,” said Central Falls School District Superintendent Fran Gallo. “Having a viable partnership with RIC, to provide wraparound programs to guide our students to success from pre-K to college and beyond, broadens our horizons for our entire community.”

RIC President Nancy Carriuolo said, “Through our Innovation Lab partnership, our students and faculty are able to research the effectiveness of programs that enrich the RIC and Central Falls communities.”

Partnership projects, which are growing in number, include:

·       Clinical Teacher Preparation – RIC School of Education students learn on site at Central Falls High School through a combination of course instruction, classroom observation and interaction with Central Falls students, teachers, parents and administrators. Central Falls students participate in discussions and classroom activities and interact with RIC students. Central Falls and RIC faculty have the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas about best practices in teaching and research.

·       Social Work Internships – RIC School of Social Work students work with Central Falls children and youth individually and in groups on a host of issues of concern for middle and high school students. This project offers RIC students opportunities to work within and learn from diverse communities. It also ensures that Central Falls students receive individualized services and assistance.

·       Friday Campus Visits – On Fridays throughout the academic year, RIC welcomes Central Falls students, teachers and parents to campus to attend workshops and classes, use RIC research and physical education facilities and engage in activities that build awareness and understanding of the college experience.

RIC Coordinator for the Innovation Lab Julie Horwitz, associate professor of educational studies, said that the first year of this long-term partnership has created new connections between the participants and provided every participant – faculty, student and parents - with new ideas around education system reform.

“We are all committed to this and together we are making things better for everyone involved,” Horwitz said.

For more information on the CF/RIC Innovation Lab, visit http://www.ric.edu/innovationlab/.

Established in Providence in 1854, Rhode Island College serves approximately 9,000 graduate and undergraduate students through its five schools: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, the School of Social Work, the School of Management and the School of Nursing. For more information, visit www.ric.edu.