Feinstein School’s New Home Receives Warm Reception

Horace Mann pic 1

New digs for education majors described as comfy and welcoming.

The $25 million renovation of Horace Mann Hall, home to the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD) since 1969, is now complete and open this semester. Renovation work began three years ago. 

Major improvements include a wing featuring six classrooms and three seminar rooms; bright and spacious student common areas; a three-story addition for offices; new roof, elevator and windows; and electrical, plumbing and network technology upgrades. 

Departments housed within Horace Mann are Educational Studies, Elementary Education, Special Education and Counseling, Educational Leadership, and School Psychology. 

room in horace mann

“There’s something to be said about having a home for your particular discipline,” says FSEHD Dean Jeannine Dingus-Eason. 

She also remarked on how the community-oriented layout of the building can serve as a “landing space” for students. 

Student landing space in Horace Mann Hall. 

“Research shows the importance of incidental learning, which is peer-to-peer learning that happens in the hallways after class. It had been hard for that type of learning to happen when we didn’t have a true home,” she says 

Dingus-Eason says the window glass is her favorite feature in the building. 

horace mann at night

“It looks like a living prism, especially at different times of the day when it catches the light,” she says. 

Education Professor and Chair of Educational Studies Charles McLaughlin says the building is easily the best he’s ever worked in during his more than 30-year career. 

“It was worth waiting for,” he says of his office, which overlooks the building’s front lawn. “This is what I’ve always thought a professional office would look like. I’m pinching myself because I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot.”  

Rachel Clemons, coordinator of RIC’s Field Education Youth Development program, agrees. She praised the state-of-the-art technology and noted that her students arrive well before classes begin because that’s how comfortable they feel in the welcoming environment. 

student studying
Alyssa Furtado, an elementary education major, catches up on classwork in the main lobby.

“I feel such gratitude for a learning space that feels like it was done intentionally, thoughtfully and with the care of the faculty in mind, but most importantly the students,” Clemons says.

For information about Rhode Island College’s teacher education programs, go to Feinstein School of Education and Human Development.