RIC is on the Ballot, Official Launch of ‘Vote Yes on 2’ Campaign

Horace Mann

Proposed redesign of Horace Mann Hall by Durkee Brown Viveiros Werenfels Architects

Government, civic, labor and higher education leaders in the state, along with alumni, faculty, staff and students of Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island formally launched the Vote Yes on 2 Campaign on Oct. 4 at the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center​. This site is significant in that it is a shared complex for RIC and URI nursing programs and another example of a successful RIC/URI collaboration.

On Nov. 6, Rhode Island voters will be asked to approve ballot Question 2, a $70 million general obligation bond to support higher education facilities at Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay Campus.

Approval of this bond would provide $25 million for facility renovations and enhancements of RIC’s Horace Mann Hall, which houses the college’s Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, and $45 million to design, renovate and construct new buildings and upgrade infrastructure at the Bay Campus, home of URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography.

“Voters this November have the opportunity to invest in our future by approving Question 2 and supporting Rhode Island’s top-notch institutions of higher learning,” said R.I. Gov. Gina Raimondo. “By pushing URI’s exploration of our oceans to new depths and ensuring that RIC can meet the demands of educating tomorrow’s teachers, we’ll send a clear message that Rhode Island is committed to moving forward.”

“There is no greater impact on a child’s education than a child’s teacher,” said RIC President Frank D. Sánchez. “Rhode Island College prepares the largest number of teacher candidates for certification in Rhode Island, graduating highly competitive candidates who are prepared to serve the changing needs of today’s pre-K-12 students. Our modernized curriculum demands a modern facility that allows for increased collaboration, training and use of technology.”

“RIC’s school of education facility was built in 1971 and hasn’t been updated in nearly half a century,” explained Gerri August, co-interim dean of the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development. “Since that time, teacher education has evolved, as has pre-K-12 classroom teaching. Years ago, teaching was thought of as ‘students sit in a row and listen while I teach,’ which is why the current building is designed for stand-and-deliver pedagogy. We now know that students do not learn well that way.”

“We need a building that models the interactive environments future teachers will be entering when they graduate,” said August, “and we need to prepare teachers to interact with students in ways that students find meaningful. Effective teacher education depends on facilities that reflect the reality present in K-12 classrooms.”​