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.
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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
How one institution plans to become the best community college in New England
Strada Rhode Island Employer Forum:
Season 2, Episode 2 Transcript: Download
Is the so-called “student debt crisis” really a crisis? Author Beth Akers brings an economist’s view of postsecondary education’s return on investment and says, on average, college is still worth the price — if you do it right.
A college or university can be deemed a "Hispanic Serving Institution" if at least a quarter of its students are Latino. But Deborah Santiago, co-founder and CEO of Excelencia in Education, says serving Latino students is about more than just enrolling them. It’s about supporting their journey through college graduation and into the workforce. Deborah and I discuss the Seal of Excelencia, and along the way we learn about her own journey growing up in a military family and pursuing her education as a first-generation college student.
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Long before JFF’s Michael Collins became an education-workforce policy expert, he was a Black kid living in Hartford, Connecticut, bussed to school in the white suburbs. The experience, followed years later by a stint teaching low-income Latino students in Texas, drove home the racial and economic disparities he’s been working to solve ever since. In the midst of a pandemic disrupting education and work — especially for low-income people of color — we talk to Michael about how to equip people for jobs today without closing off opportunities to advance in jobs of the future.
After spending a year inside admissions offices, journalist and author Jeff Selingo reminds parents and students that admission into college is not just about grades and hard work, and it never was. We talk to Selingo about his latest book, “Who Gets In and Why,” to explore how colleges can improve admissions and increase opportunities for disadvantaged students and how students can maximize their college experience — wherever they go to school.
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How do we make sense of higher education and its relationship to the economy in the midst of a pandemic that changed the world overnight? Normally, when the economy is down, you go back to school, says Tony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. But what’s your strategy if that’s not a great option right now? Carnevale explains why this economic crisis is different, who’s most at risk, and what it means for post-high school education and training.
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What can employers do to prepare today’s workers for the jobs of tomorrow? Van Ton-Quinlivan, CEO of Futuro Health and a former leader in the California Community College system, talks about how employers, labor unions, and educators can work together to help workers learn what they need to get better jobs. Education is not a one-time inoculation to prepare people for a lifetime of work, she says. Frequent booster shots are needed throughout our careers.
Lessons Earned, a new podcast from Strada Education Network, explores how to improve education and work.