PrepareRI Newsletter

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PrepareRI Newsletter:

August 2018

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WELCOME message

It’s back-to-school time, which means PrepareRI is entering its second full school year. We have a lot of exciting work ahead, much of which we’ll talk about at the upcoming PrepareRI Summit on October 13. But it’s worth taking a second to celebrate some of our accomplishments from last year: 

  • A record 203 career and technical education (CTE) programs will be open this fall. This marks a 56% increase since 2015. Of this year’s new programs, 75% are in high-wage, high-demand industries. 
  • The PrepareRI Internship Program launched this summer, providing 162 high school students with paid internships at top Rhode Island employers. Participating students also earned six college credits from Roger Williams University. 
  • RIDE awarded $1.2 million last year through the first-ever CTE Innovation & Equity Grant competition. The grant winners will begin implementing their plans to close equity gaps this fall. 
  • Through CS4RI, the number of students taking introductory AP computer science nearly doubled over the past two years. The number of students taking any AP computer science course has more than quintupled since 2015.  
  • Thanks to the PrepareRI Dual Enrollment Fund and to the engagement of higher education faculty and staff, there has been a 150% increase in dual and concurrent enrollment since 2015. 
  • After starting the PrepareRI Ambassadors program last year, we more than quadrupled the number of education leaders participating in the program this coming year. 
  • Last fall, we began hosting semiannual PrepareRI Summits, gathering hundreds of stakeholders from across the state to share best practices and scale up effective programs.  

These accomplishments came from the efforts of countless people across the state. We can't thank you all enough for your support of Rhode Island's young people. 

                                                                                    --PrepareRI Core Team



Register for the PrepareRI Summit!

Registration is now open for the PrepareRI Fall Summit. You can register here or view the Summit agenda.

The PrepareRI Fall 2018 Summit, entitled "College & Career Opportunities for All," will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 13, at Rhode Island College. PrepareRI hosts Summits each semester to connect leaders from schools, colleges, government, and private industry to help build career pathways for all Rhode Island youth.

The goals of the PrepareRI Fall '18 Summit are: 

  • Understand Rhode Island employers' needs and hear their perspectives on high-quality work-based learning in key industries. 
  • Build a network of champions committed to connecting secondary and postsecondary work-based learning pathways for in-school and out-of-school youth in Rhode Island, especially youth from underrepresented populations. 
  • Highlight promising practices and programs in work-based learning. 


PrepareRI Internship Graduation

Congratulations to the 162 high school students from across the state who graduated from the PrepareRI Internship program. They were joined by their families and the 40+ employer partners who hosted them this summer at the graduation event on August 23 at Rhode Island College.  Student speaker Sagar S. from Coventry High School spent his summer at Amgen and said they made a “small intern in a big pond” feel valued and important. Student speaker Geralyn M. from Davies Career and Tech spoke about how she landed her “dream” internship at Hasbro. 

The PrepareRI Internship program is funded by the Governor’s Workforce Board and PrepareRI, and is implemented by Skills for Rhode Island’s Future. In addition to wages, students earned six college credits from Roger Williams University. The PrepareRI Internship program will be expanded for summer 2019. Look out for more information about next summer’s internships later this fall.

  The PrepareRI Internship graduation ceremony on August 23, 2018 at Rhode Island College.

The PrepareRI Internship graduation ceremony on August 23, 2018 at Rhode Island College.


New School Counseling Fellow at RIDE to support with ILPs

  Onna Holland, School Counseling Fellow

Onna Holland, School Counseling Fellow

PrepareRI welcomes Onna Holland as RIDE’s first School Counseling Fellow. Onna will join the team for the 2018-19 Academic Year and will work with RIDE, schools, and districts to support Individual Learning Plan (ILP) implementation and broader Comprehensive School Counseling efforts.

Onna Holland has been a School Counselor at Dr. E.A. Ricci Middle School in North Providence for the past eight years. Onna is Secretary and Past President of the Rhode Island School Counselor Association. Onna received her M.S. in School Counseling from C.W. Post, Long Island University. She has been a school counselor since 1999. 

Onna’s office is at RIDE and she can be reached at or by phone at (401) 222-8177.


Career Coordinator identification survey [Reminder]
To ensure every school is building career pathways for all students, RIDE is encouraging all high schools to designate a “career coordinator” starting this school year. Career coordinators will manage work-based learning for their school and serve as the key work-based learning contact person for both students and external stakeholders, including business and industry groups, RIDE, and the Statewide Career Readiness Intermediary (Skills for Rhode Island's Future). Career coordinators will be focused on ensuring students’ readiness for success during their work-based learning experiences and in their future career pathways. Starting this school year, RIDE will be transitioning its supports from school-based coordinators (SBCs) to career coordinators.

If you are a high school principal or district leader, please complete this short survey to identify who will be your high school's career coordinator. RIDE will begin trainings for the identified career coordinators in the fall. Read more about the career coordinator job responsibilities or work-based learning. For questions, contact


Prepare ri in the news

    We were very excited to be featured by the Wall Street Journal in a recent story about education-industry partnerships and how they are changing the face of career education (“Vocational training is back as firms pair with high schools to groom workers”). We wish they had been able to give even more credit to our schools leading this work, but are excited for this national attention. Thank you to everyone who has put Rhode Island on the map, and especially to the schools who hosted this reporter back in June: Davies, Coventry High School, and the Newport Area Career and Technical Center!

    The Warwick Beacon, Cranston Herald, and Johnston Sun Rise newspapers published a fantastic editorial recognizing the exciting work happening to open up opportunity for Rhode Island students (“A win for RIDE is a win for all”). As their editorial board writes, "For a long time, a perception had existed – especially in places like New England – that “smart kids” went to private, four-year colleges after high school and ‘everyone else’ wound up in community college or working a trade with only a high school diploma, if that, to their name...Today, many states are reversing this perception, and Rhode Island is certainly among them leading the charge.”

    To learn more about PrepareRI in the news visit PrepareRI News and Press.


    Events & Deadlines

    CTE Board: September Meeting

    • What: The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Board of Trustees will host its first meeting of the year to discuss the upcoming year of career education in Rhode Island.
    • When: Friday, September 14, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
    • Where: Woonsocket Career & Technical Center, 400 Aylsworth Ave., Woonsocket, RI
    • More info: Contact


    GWB Career Pathways Advisory Committee: September Meeting

    • What: The Governor's Workforce Board Career Pathways Advisory Committee will meet to discuss youth workforce development, focusing on out of school youth. 
    • When: Wednesday, September 19, 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Where: RI Department of Labor and Training, 1511 Pontiac Rd, Cranston; Conference Room 73-1
    • More info: Contact


    PrepareRI Fall Summit

    • What: PrepareRI Summit: College & Career Work-Based Learning Opportunities for All
    • When: Saturday, October 13, 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
    • Where: Rhode Island College
    • Goals:
      • Understand Rhode Island employers’ needs and hear their perspectives on high-quality work-based learning in key industries. 
      • Build a network of champions committed to connecting secondary and postsecondary career pathways for in school and out of school youth in Rhode Island, especially youth from underrepresented populations. 
      • Highlight promising practices and programs in work-based learning.   
    • Audience: College Faculty and Career Center Staff, K-12 Teachers and Administrators, CTE Directors, Business and Industry Representatives, and Community Groups.
    • REGISTER HERE or view the Summit agenda.

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