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6/12/2023 Assembly OKs bill to provide college credit for apprenticeship
STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly today approved legislation sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Hanna M. Gallo and House Education Committee Chairman Joseph M. McNamara to require the state’s public higher education institutions to establish ways of awarding academic credit for students’ participation in registered apprenticeship programs.

The legislation (2023-S 0178, 2023-H 6477), which  now goes to the governor, would require the schools to develop policies by Jan. 1 that describe how and when they will award credit toward a bachelor’s degree for apprenticeship. The bill directs the schools to prioritize ways to apply such credit to academic majors that have low completion rates and are in high demand by existing Rhode Island employers.

The Board of Education would review those policies, which could then be put into effect in time for the 2024-2025 academic year.

“Just as colleges award credit for internships, they should recognize the educational value of the on-the-job training gained through apprenticeships. Apprenticeship is very intensive and has strict standards that ensure apprentices gain real skills and knowledge that apply directly to careers. Providing credit for that learning experience is fair, and it will encourage more students to complete their education and reap the lifelong benefits of a college degree,” said Senator Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick).

Said Chairman McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), “Some private colleges award academic credit for apprenticeship, and it’s an even better idea for our public colleges, since part of their mission is to prepare a strong workforce for our state. Apprenticeship is an outstanding way to learn and practice the skills that apply to a career, and our public higher education institutions should incorporate a place for them in students’ academic path and encourage them to participate.”

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923