Want one more reason for Rhode Island’s much-discussed skills gap? An estimated 111,000 residents left college without earning their degree, according to the state education board.
That’s a scary number in a state with about 1 million residents. Thankfully, some local colleges agree and are taking a proactive approach in luring some of those former students back to campus. Rhode Island College, the University of Rhode Island and the Community College of Rhode Island are all taking advantage of federal money to help curb the drop-out rate.
Joe Botelho, 54, of East Providence, is taking advantage of RIC’s program to finish two classes and graduate in December.
“Going back to school was a scary prospect,” he told PBN in a story on Page 3. While Botelho is happy with his job as an associate at Re/Max River’s Edge in East Providence, many others like him who dropped out have paid the price with limited job prospects.
Finding ways to bring the best prospects back to school can increase their competitiveness for better jobs. Kudos to the schools for reaching out to help them take those first, scary steps toward a potentially better future. •