March 2015

Though the overall Rhode Island college completion rate is above the national average, the rate for Latinos lags behind and is also far below the completion rate for white Rhode Islanders in both Providence and the state. Minding the Gap: Increasing College Persistence in Rhode Island presents local data on college attainment rates and warns that Rhode Island risks a backslide in its percentage of higher education degree holders if it does not work to explicitly address the educational needs of its significant and growing Latino population. 

In addition to providing local data on college completion rates, Minding the Gap gives an overview of systemic elements that lead to increased college persistence for all college-going students – and gives examples of promising strategies at Rhode Island’s institutions of higher education, as well as at local community-based organizations.

Finally, the report offers recommendations designed to help Rhode Island educators and policy-makers take a more strategic, proactive approach to increasing post secondary attainment levels, ensuring that more of the Ocean State’s working adults are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed for success.

The report, funded by Lumina Foundation, is part of the work of the Providence Children and Youth Cabinet's Postsecondary Completion Subcommittee, which collaborates with Rhode Island’s institutions of higher education, multiple community-based organizations, and the Providence Public Schools to increase college persistence in the state. AISR is the anchor institution and home of the Children and Youth Cabinet.