Rhode Island has improved the lives and livelihoods of its residents by combining classroom education with hands-on, work-based learning. But what happens when businesses are shuttered and students must learn at a distance? Meghan Hughes, president of the Community College of Rhode Island, says the COVID-19 pandemic is actually a great opportunity for her school and its students to demonstrate how they can adapt in trying times.


About Meghan Hughes

Dr. Meghan Hughes is president of the Community College of Rhode Island, the largest community college in New England, which serves more than 22,000 students across four main campuses. In her first three years as president, Hughes led the implementation of a strategic plan focused on student success, closing performance gaps, and connecting education to robust labor market outcomes.

Hughes is an Aspen Institute Fellow for Community College Excellence. She was presented with the “Trailblazer in Education” award in 2018 at the RISE Women’s Leadership Conference, was recognized by the Latino Public Radio Foundation with its Foundation Builder Award in 2016, and by the Rhode Island Foundation with its Community Leader award in 2015.

She serves on the boards of the Rhode Island Foundation, Greater Providence Chamber, and Year Up Rhode Island. In addition, she is a member of Congressman David Cicilline’s Women’s Advisory Council, the Rhode Island Commodores, the Governor’s Commission on Higher Education and Employability, and the Governor’s Skills Cabinet.

Hughes graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and holds a doctorate from New York University.

More about Meghan’s work:

New York Times:
How a Rhode Island College Was Forced to Adapt

Education Dive:
How one institution plans to become the best community college in New England

Strada Rhode Island Employer Forum:

Season 2, Episode 2 Transcript: Download