Rhode Island College is located on a 180-acre campus in the Mount Pleasant section of Providence. This location combines easy access to the benefits and resources of the metropolitan area with a suburban atmosphere.
Academic offerings are provided through the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, the School of Management, the School of Nursing, and the School of Social Work, as well as through the Office of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions.
Rhode Island College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has also received accreditation for specified programs from the following agencies: Council on Social Work Education, National Association of Schools of Art and Design, National Association of Schools of Music, National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
When the college was established in 1854 as the Rhode Island State Normal School, its goal was to provide teacher preparation to young people from Rhode Island. With the dedication of a new building in 1898, the institution began a period of steady growth, evolving first into a teachers college, the Rhode Island College of Education. In the 1958–59 academic year the college moved to its current Mount Pleasant campus, and in 1960 was renamed Rhode Island College to reflect its new purpose as a comprehensive institution of higher education.
The college has undergone expansion in recent decades at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. It now serves approximately 9,000 students in courses and programs both on and off campus.
Rhode Island College is the oldest of the three public institutions of higher education that operate under the aegis of the Rhode Island Board of Education. The eleven-member board was created by the Rhode Island General Assembly in 2013 and replaced the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education and the Board of Governors for Higher Education.