Located in Bristol, Roger Williams University's (RWU) history dates back to 1919, when it was a Northeastern University branch. In 1956, Roger Williams Junior College received its charter and in 1992, the college officially gained university status. Today, the university has 42 academic programs, and has been proclaimed as one of the best higher institutes of education and one of the greenest universities in the U.S. by Forbes and the Princeton Review, respectively. Accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC), RWU Online offers its students online degree and online course options at the master's and bachelor's levels. Some of the degrees it offers are in discipline areas like criminal justice, digital forensics, and public administration. It also offers two accelerated online masters degree programs in criminal justice and public administration, and an accelerated master's certificate in digital forensics.
The University of Rhode Island (URI) was founded in 1888 as Rhode Island's agricultural school. Today, it is the state's land, sea, and urban-grant university, and one of the colleges in Rhode Island accredited by the NEASC. It has four campuses in Kingston, Feinstein Providence, Narragansett, and West Greenwich. URI at Kingston is ranked as No. 160 on U.S. News & World Report's list for national universities, and has nearly 15,000 undergraduate students alone. Given URI's prestigious standing, it's no surprise that they also offer online classes. Its online courses include, but are not limited to, studies in African and African American studies, landscape architecture, nursing, women's studies, business, French, and kinesiology.
A private, Catholic university, Providence College is another of the universities in Rhode Island accredited by the NEASC. It was established in 1917 and is one of the resident colleges in Providence RI, a city known as one of the first to be founded in the U.S. Providence College is ranked No. 4 on the U.S. News & World Report's list of regional universities in the North. It offers 50 undergraduate majors from its four schools, and its master's offerings include various Master of Arts, Education, and Theology programs, in addition to a MBA program. Furthermore, it hosts online college courses, some of which include principles of marketing, logic, canonical gospels, and introduction to Shakespeare. Some of its online degrees at the undergraduate level include history, social science, and theology. The university also offers associates degree online programs.
Health care, education, and marine trading are some of Rhode Island's biggest industries. According to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, between 2000 and 2010, the health care industry was Rhode Island's fastest growing industry. This opens up job opportunities for those hoping to advance in Rhode Island's health care workforce by obtaining online post secondary degrees; popular degrees for this industry include those in nursing, health care management, health care administration, and pharmacy sciences. Education is another of Rhode Island's major industries, making online post secondary degrees in education, English, science, and other educational disciplines common through the doctoral level. Because of Rhode Island's close proximity to vast amounts of coastlines, another of Rhode Island's top industries is marine trading. Online degrees in marine biology, industrial or environmental engineering, environmental sciences, or fishery will be helpful in such an industry.
Concluding that distance learning is the best and most convenient pay for one to obtain an advanced degree is one thing, choosing a school and program of study is another. It is crucial that students pursue their degrees at accredited universities and colleges in Rhode Island. Accreditation means that a college or university has passed the accreditation process; in passing such a process, it is concluded that a university or college's programs meet established educational standards. In seeking a degree at an online university that is not accredited, students run the risk of receiving a lower quality degree, being unable to transfer credits to both accredited and non-accredited institutions, as well as being less marketable in the job market.