Communication students team with Fidelity for unique project-based learning collaboration
July 13, 2022
Students in the Community College of Rhode Island’s Communication and Film/Media program experienced the opportunity of a lifetime this past spring thanks to a first-of-its-kind project-based learning collaboration with Fidelity Investments.
With the goal of expanding student participation in work-based learning, CCRI teamed with Fidelity, a longtime partner through the college’s Division of Workforce Partnerships, to develop semester-long writing projects woven into the curriculum of three separate courses – Media Writing, Multimedia Reporting, and Social Media Communication.
The projects implemented a variety of communication skills – from writing video scripts and news articles to creating blogs and social media posts – with students in each class working alongside Fidelity employees, all of whom volunteered to participate. The collaboration allowed the students to gain real-world experience in the communication field and solicit important feedback from industry professionals.
Stacy Sullivan, CCRI’s Director of Industry Partnerships, considered this inaugural cohort an overwhelming success and is hopeful the college will have the opportunity to launch similar collaborations between other industry partners and programs.
“The original idea was, ‘How can we come together for students so they can have a hands-on learning experience and have this exposure to the types of jobs that are out there and what companies are hiring?’” Sullivan said.
“What was helpful for us was the Division of Workforce Partnerships already has relationships with a lot of these companies, and as the only community college in the state with a stellar reputation, a lot of companies want to engage with our students. It provides the company with exposure to a potential future workforce with the idea that down the road a lot of these students might want to work there.”
“Through our College Engagement Program, we were able to partner with CCRI to brainstorm, design and build real-world communication-based projects. In addition to expanding their communications skills, students gained knowledge in financial wellness," said Frank D’Ercole, Vice-President at Fidelity Investments. "We were simply thrilled with the continued partnership and the outcomes. Special thanks goes to the Fidelity associates who volunteered to share their time and talents with CCRI’s students. We are looking forward to the next semester.”
Sullivan began working on the collaboration as far back as September and in early January brought the framework of the project to English Department Chair Sandy Sneesby, who suggested teaming with the college’s Communication and Film/Media program. Sneesby and English Professor Kathleen Beauchene targeted professors whom they felt would work best within the scope of the project – Holly Susi (Media Writing), Stephanie Cabral (Multimedia Reporting), and Lydia Rogers (Social Media Communications) – and then tweaked the proposals based on Fidelity’s standards and their own course outcomes, which was especially challenging considering the curriculum for each class had already been written.
“We jumped at the opportunity to participate in this project,” Sneesby said. “It’s so critical for our students to leave with this experience, and it’s a model for what we can do for anyone else who wants to partner with us. Fidelity has been so conscientious and such a good partner – so professional, so prepared. This was a great first model to build on.”
“This kind of project gives our students an eye-opening experience about what it’s like to work with people in the business field,” Beauchene said.
Students were required to complete several small projects over the course of the semester, each of which were graded separately. The projects were based on a fictitious financial services company seeking marketing and communication help to educate youth on financial literacy, including creating social posts, outlining questions for a podcast, filming videos, and writing news articles on the need for younger people to keep track of their finances.
“It was incredible to watch my students grasp this opportunity and apply content learned in class to a ‘real-world’ scenario. Every student in my class said they were so appreciative of this experience, and they learned more from it than they could have ever imagined,” Cabral said. “Allowing students to experiment through work-based learning exposes them to the industry while also solidifying crucial concepts and giving them confidence for future endeavors."
Students interviewed Fidelity employees as part of the project and enjoyed hands-on experience learning the inner-workings of a professional social media and communications team. The scope of each assignment compelled students to develop an understanding of the key elements of effective communication, among them knowing your target audience, properly framing messages, producing concise yet visually-stimulating content, and drafting interview questions.
“My students were assigned Fidelity employees to interview and then wrote a profile piece on that person,” Susi said. “They had to research the company and this person, prepare interview questions, conduct a professional interview, and then write an engaging profile. The experience felt very authentic.
“For college students who may not have an opportunity to do an internship, this kind of work-based learning as part of their coursework is invaluable. My students appreciated that they had an experience like this to add to their resumes. This is the kind of project-based learning that can make a student stand out.”
Three CCRI professors earn prestigious NISOD Awards for teaching excellence
September 19, 2023
Three Community College of Rhode Island professors earned 2023 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards, which recognize individuals doing extraordinary work on their campuses. This marks the second year in a row the college has had three different professors earn this distinction.
Class of '23 graduate named one of three Gamm Theater fellows for 2023-24
September 15, 2023
After fueling her passion for theater at the Community College of Rhode Island, Class of 2023 graduate Mireya Hoffens will continue to pursue her dream this year as one of three emerging artists to join the 2023–24 Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theater’s Gamm Fellowship Program.
CCRI announces $5 million partnership with Bally's to launch gaming-focused programming
September 14, 2023
The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) today joined Governor Dan McKee, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, Majority Leader Christopher Blazejewski, and Bally’s Corporation Chairman Soo Kim to announce a $5 million donation to CCRI to develop and launch new programming in the gaming, hospitality, and security industries and to support student scholarships.
Alumni Association elects new President, Chair of Alumni Diversity Council
September 11, 2023
The college's Foundation Board and Alumni Association Board recently elected two new officers to key leadership positions on CCRI’s Alumni Association; Jeffrey C. Wright Jr. is the new Alumni Association President and Malida Khim is the Alumni Diversity Council Chair.
Getting to know Dr. Costigan: A student's perspective
September 11, 2023
CCRI student Kat Taylor attended Opening Day last month at the Warwick Campus and shares her experience interacting with Interim President Rosemary Costigan from the best seat in the house – front row center in the Great Hall – as the college's new leader addressed faculty and staff for the first time.
CCRI theatre students gain valuable insight during summertime internship
September 07, 2023
Two Community College of Rhode Island theater students are wrapping up a four-month paid internship at the Spectrum Theater Ensemble, a Providence-based theatre company showcasing neurodiverse artists.
Elissa Parente, 19, of Cranston and Jalen Rodriguez, 22, of Woonsocket, who is blind, have handled a variety of roles with STE, including marketing, publicity, social media, and even performing on stage during STE’s 4th Annual Neurodiversity New Play Festival (NNPF) this weekend in Providence.
Dr. Costigan begins tenure as CCRI's Interim President
September 01, 2023
When she first stepped foot on campus of the then Rhode Island Junior College in 1976, Dr. Rosemary A. Costigan never envisioned she’d one day serve as president of her alma mater.
Nearly five decades later, Dr. Costigan begins her tenure Friday, September 1, as Interim President of the present-day Community College of Rhode Island, becoming the first alumnus to serve in that capacity.
CCRI Dental Clinic Offering Free Appointments for the Fall
August 02, 2023
With the start of the fall semester a few weeks away, the Community College of Rhode Island is taking appointments for an array of free dental hygiene services at its Dental Hygiene Clinic located at the Lincoln campus.
The Dental Hygiene Clinic is a learning environment for dental hygiene students during each academic year where patients can schedule appointments Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 7:30 am – 5:30 pm, to receive free treatment from students under the supervision of a licensed dentist and dental hygienist. Patients are welcome for dental hygiene treatments every 12 months after initial completion.
CCRI Players Present Antony & Cleopatra
August 02, 2023
The CCRI Players present Antony & Cleopatra, the epic love story that moved the events of ancient empire, as part of CCRI’s Summer Repertory program at the Bobby Hackett Theatre in Warwick on August 3 – 6.
Cyber Camp Takes Over CCRI's Newport Campus
July 26, 2023
CCRI welcomed Governor Dan McKee, Newport Mayor Xay Khamsyvoravong, and Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green to its Newport Campus to learn more about the Newport Public Schools’ Cyber Camp to promote learning beyond the formal school day and beyond the traditional 180-day school year.
Business Department Chair Coclin earns Teaching Excellence Award
June 28, 2023
CCRI Business and Professional Studies Department Chair and Associate Professor Maria Coclin has been named a regional recipient of the 2023 Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Teaching Excellence Award.
The ACBSP recognizes individuals each year who exemplify teaching excellence in the classroom.
CCRI's Cybersecurity Program Director earns Community Service Recognition Award
June 26, 2023
Community College of Rhode Island Computer Studies Assistant Professor and Cybersecurity Program Director Michael Kelly received a 2023 Center of Academic Excellence Community of Practice in Cyber Defense (CAE Cop-CD) Community Service Recognition Award at this year’s CAE in Cybersecurity Symposium for his outstanding contributions to the cybersecurity community.
Kelly – a 2019 recipient of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award – has led efforts to increase enrollment and add new programs to the college’s Computer Studies department, securing CCRI’s reputation as a national leader in Cybersecurity education.
Updated COVID-19 vaccination policy
June 20, 2023
CCRI students and employees no longer need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of enrollment or employment, effective July 1, 2023. This means that students attending Summer 2023 and Fall 2023 semesters will not have a vaccination requirement.
Getting to Know: Carlin Weirick
June 19, 2023
Today we meet Carlin Weirick, one of the newest members of the CCRI community whose unexpected journey through the Human Resources field has led her to a rewarded career as a recruiter with a keen eye for talent.
With a diverse background in several fields, she has brought her exceptional people skills and passion for helping others to CCRI, beginning her latest journey in May as the college's new Talent Acquisition & Diversity Recruiting Manager for the Department of Institutional Equity & Human Resources.
Medication Aide/Tech training for CNAs begins next week at Newport Campus
June 15, 2023
The Community College of Rhode Island’s Division of Workforce Partnerships is currently accepting applicants for the second cohort of its Medication Aide/Tech training for licensed Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) offered at the Newport County Campus.
Classes begin Thursday, June 22. The duration of the program is 48 hours over the course of eight weeks, or two three-hour sessions per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays with participants given the option to choose 9 am–12 pm or 1–4 pm.
September 22, 2023 All Day
September 23, 2023 All Day
Chairs submit names of 1/3 of department faculty (including new hires) who are to be evaluated during academic year
September 23, 2023 All Day
September 24, 2023 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Phillips Memorial Baptist Church
September 25, 2023 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
September 26, 2023 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
September 26, 2023 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
September 27, 2023 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
September 27, 2023 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
September 27, 2023 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM