Document Type



Sociology, Political Science


Skilled human capital plays a major role in sparking innovation, enhancing productivity, raising incomes, and driving economic growth. State prosperity depends heavily on attracting well-educated workers because these workers enjoy significantly higher per-capita incomes and perform well on other economic measures. The knowledge-based economy places a higher premium on an education that challenges those entering the workplace to be able to think beyond the immediate job they will seek. If the most desirable high-value technical businesses cannot find enough skilled workers in Rhode Island, they will neither come to the state or stay in it. Furthermore, in today’s economy, we cannot attract individual business entities, but instead must attract and nurture a web of industries that together represent robust economic sectors. A mix of development incentives, not relying solely on tax policy, is necessary to build such economic sectors, especially due to the importance of education and quality of life amenities play in business location decisions.

Therefore, this case study analysis offers Rhode Island policymakers, for the first time, an in-depth look at how Rhode Island College has, and is, preparing students for the future. Rhode Island College is the appropriate case for this analysis because it is the college which educates Rhode Islanders, and thus plays a central role in enhancing the educational attainment of Rhode Island’s workforce and its desirability.