• New Associate degree program at CCRI in “Environment, Sustainability, and Management”

    New Associate degree program at CCRI in “Environment, Sustainability, and Management”

    For inquiries about CCRI
    Amy Kempe

    For inquiries about career paths or the partnership
    Shayna Cohen, KK&P
    New Associate degree program at CCRI in “Environment, Sustainability, and Management”
    Innovative collaboration with Rhode Island Nursery & Landscape Association and Rhode Island Food Policy Council provides a clear path toward careers in
    RI’s growing land and sea industries

    PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island needs a workforce that can meet the current and future needs of the state’s flourishing land and sea businesses, which compose a sector that is quickly rising to the top of the state’s strongest economic drivers.

    A new associate degree in Environment, Sustainability, and Management created by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) is a first-of-its-kind program that will prepare students for careers in these industries – including the landscape, farm and food sectors – and arm them with the perspective they need to meet social, economic, and ecological challenges of the world and of business today.

    The development of this associate degree program was supported by a grant from the Agriculture Workforce Development Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

    “This new degree program is a perfect example of industry and policy leaders collaborating with higher education to design and implement an academic and career pathway that responds to labor market demands,” said Meghan Hughes, president of CCRI. “The green economy continues to show tremendous growth in Rhode Island, and CCRI, along with our partners at URI, RINLA, and RIFPC, is committed to providing high-quality, rigorous academic and experiential learning opportunities that will prepare Rhode Islanders for great careers right here in the Ocean State.”

    This interdisciplinary program blends science and business; provides work-based learning opportunities for credit; includes courses in Business, Biology, Entrepreneurship,
    Oceanography, Geology, Economics, Chemistry, and Communications; and positions graduates to chart successful career paths and have important impacts on the social and environmental profiles of the companies for which they work. Graduates will have immediate career opportunities, and can also transfer seamlessly as juniors to the University of Rhode Island’s bachelor’s degree programs in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, Plant Sciences, and other programs in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS).

    “The new Environment, Sustainability, and Management degree will educate the next generation of professionals charged with stewarding, protecting, and responding to a changing environment and for producing food for our community,” said Rosemary A. Costigan, vice president for academic affairs at CCRI. “In response to industry need, a number of our college’s faculty created new curricula based in science and business such as Biology of Trees and Shrubs, Food from the Sea, and the Human Environmental Impacts and Ethical Business Practices capstone course.”

    The Rhode Island Nursery & Landscape Association (RINLA) and the Rhode Island Food Policy Council (RIFPC) collaborated closely with CCRI and advisors from URI to inform the development of this exciting program of study at the intersection of environmental, social, and economic sustainability; agriculture, food, and ecological systems; business ethics; entrepreneurial thinking and processes; land and resource management methods; and impacts of climate change on ecologies, businesses, and industries.
    Shannon Brawley, Executive Director of RINLA and Nessa Richman, Network Director of the RIFPC jointly stated, “This exciting new, interdisciplinary degree program will support the public, private, and nonprofit employers we serve by preparing people to enter these industries by ensuring they have relevant classroom experiences and work-based learning opportunities.”

    Fall classes start August 31, 2022. Enrollment is now open. All Rhode Islanders who want the knowledge, skills, perspective and experiences to impact the social, economic, and ecological challenges of today’s world are encouraged to register. Additional information can be found on CCRI’s website: ccri.edu/pathways/paths/environment

    The Rhode Island Nursery & Landscape Association serves the green industry and promotes
    environmental stewardship. RINLA advances the welfare of its members through education,
    research, legislative representation, certification, support in the marketing of green industry
    goods and services, and collaboration with allied interests/associations. Additional information can be found at www.rinla.org and www.growingfuturesri.org.

    The Rhode Island Food Policy Council is working to build a more equitable, accessible, economically vibrant, and environmentally sustainable food system in Rhode Island. We coordinate statewide collaboration of diverse, committed and engaged stakeholders from all sectors of the food system. We create partnerships, develop policies, and advocate for improvements to the local food system to increase and expand its capacity, viability, and sustainability. Additional information can be found at www.rifoodcouncil.org.

    About CCRI The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest community college, enrolls nearly 18,000 students in credit-bearing degree and certificate programs and an additional 8,500 individuals in workforce development programs and adult education courses annually. With a passionate commitment to student success and closing equity gaps, CCRI provides Rhode Islanders with an outstanding college education that leads to strong learning outcomes, successful degree attainment and robust labor market outcomes. With four campuses across Rhode Island, CCRI offers, online, hybrid and in-person options for students, meeting them where they are and helping them achieve their educational and career goals. CCRI was named the 2019 Two-Year College of the Year by Education Dive magazine. For more information, visit ccri.edu.

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