December 7, 2018

RINI Family Update: College Edition

Si desea leer esta actualización en español, haga clic aquí.

College Action Plan

For a detailed plan, broken down by grade levels, please refer to the College Board information at:

It’s never too early to think about college.  Beginning in 9th grade, students and families should begin the preparations and prepare for the process. 

  1. Focus on academics – GPA (grade point average) is the cumulative average of all high school grades and is one of the primary metrics used for college admission.
  2. Get involved – extra-curricular activities are also important to colleges because involvement demonstrates commitment, motivation, and an indication of character.  Activities such as sports, clubs, church involvement, and even work are important to building a college resume. 
  3. Community service – RINI requires 20 hours per year of community service as a graduation requirement.  This is unpaid work that benefits a community organization.  Sustained service and/or leadership or innovation in community service are highly regarded by colleges. 
  4. Become educated – Learn about the career and college opportunities that exist.  Visit college websites; many have virtual tours that will enable you to see the campus.   Calculate the cost of college and begin to plan for the financial impact.  There are numerous resources to assist students and families with college tuition.  Visit to learn about 7 tips about financial aid.
  5. Utilize the RINI counseling department – Connect with the counselor who will assist you with every step of the college application process. 

In upper grades

  1. Students and families should visit the top schools that the student is interested in to learn more about the programs, opportunities, and reality of the specific college or university experience. 
  2. Focus on SAT and PSAT Preparation – RINI scholars in grades 10 and 11 should prepare for the PSAT and SAT assessments. These are RI mandated standardized tests that are also required by many colleges and universities for admission into their programs.  RINI scholars and future nurses/healthcare providers must spend time reviewing Khan Academy and the free resources that are available to assist them in doing their very best on these tests.  Scholars should also utilize the test preparation sessions that are offered in school and after school to help them prepare for this assessment. 
  3. Complete FAFSA – Students in grade 12 will need to work with families to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to apply for financial aid (grants, work-study, and loans) to pay for college or career school.  In RI, students should utilize the free resource RI Student Loan Authority  RISLA offers free college planning advice, low cost student loans, refinancing options, and free internship and scholarship finding tools.   
  4. Complete the CommonApp (Common Application) – With instant access to more than 800 colleges and universities around the world, the Common App is the most seamless way to manage the application process.  All RINI 12th grade scholars will learn about this important step and complete this application in school.   Some colleges/universities do require individual college specific applications so students and families need to  know how to apply to the schools of choice.
  5. Think about and begin the college essay – College essays are generally targeted to a specific but generic prompt.   Students should write about something that’s important to them.   They are encouraged to start early and write several drafts.   They should focus on answering the question being asked and should have at least one other person edit their essay.  It is important for all submissions to be the best that they can be!

College Readiness

As a career educational program, RINI prepares students for the nursing and healthcare fields through various activities that are embedded in the program and in the curriculum.  The NCCP Pathway is illustrated here:

RINI students should focus on the following as they prepare for college and career:

  1. Academics – The skills and competencies of nursing and healthcare providers are essential and important.  RINI offers an intentionally rigorous academic program that is intended to prepare students for college and for a competitive and critical role in the workplace.  The sooner that a RINI student learns to take the academic program and their responsibility for learning seriously, the better their GPA and their options for college. 
  2. RINI Pillars of Nursing  – Scholarship, character, compassion and empathy, and scholarship are essential skills for nursing and healthcare professionals.  RINI teaches, models, and expects these characteristics of everyone in the RINI community.  Often, these pillars are used to determine students’ readiness for workforce activities and opportunities. 
  3. Workforce Experiences – Many nursing and healthcare experiences are included as part of the RINI curriculum.  Students are encouraged to participate to the best of their ability.  In addition, students should seek other experiences that will enhance their learning and their experience. 
    1. Summer experiences – RINI offers many experiences that students may participate in during the summer.  Stay tuned for more information about summer 2019.
    2. Internships – RINI requires an internship as part of the graduation requirements.  Sustained internships are not only valuable learning opportunities, but they also signify commitment and motivation toward the career path of students. 
    3. Mentor relationships – Students who are interested in having mentors, volunteer nursing and healthcare professionals who assist and support students on their chosen career path may receive opportunities and experiences that are unique to their situation and are invaluable to their future. 
    4. Workforce certifications – RINI offers several workforce certifications as part of the regular curriculum.  Students should take advantage of these opportunities and earn as many certifications and licenses as they can.  These experiences demonstrate competencies, motivation, and commitment to the career pathway intended. 
    5. College course credits – RINI offers many college courses that are aligned with nursing and healthcare majors at most colleges and universities.  Students who are academically prepared for such experiences should take full advantage and earn as many college credits as possible.  Students at RINI who successfully earn college credits can accelerate their college programs by as much as 1 semester or more.  In addition, college course success in high school is a significant indicator of college readiness and is looked on favorably by colleges and universities. 

Paths to a Nursing Degree

Although the Bachelor of Science Degree is the preferred credential for the current nursing workforce, there are some options as to how to become a nurse or other healthcare provider. 

  • Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) – RINI offers this licensure course as part of the regular curriculum to students beginning in grade 11.   In addition, RINI offers this program periodically during evening/weekend hours and during the summer.   The scope and practice of a CNA is very different from a Registered Nurse, but the role is essential in patient care and the experience of a CNA is quite helpful to one pursuing the RN career, a healthcare career, or an to advanced practice nursing or healthcare practitioner.
  • 2 year Associate Degree programs – Schools such as CCRI offer 2 year programs that result in eligibility for RN licensure.  Successful students who complete the program must take and pass the nursing licensure exam, NCLEX.
  • Diploma programs – Programs such as St. Joseph’s School of Nursing offer a 2 year program in conjunction with a local hospital that results in RN licensure eligibility.  St. Joseph’s is located on the Fatima Hospital campus. 
  • 4 year Bachelor Degree programs – Some students will elect to go directly to 4 year college/university programs.  The nursing and healthcare majors are generally very competitive and GPA is important.  Some school such as the University of Rhode Island, URI admit students directly into the nursing program upon admission to the school.  Other schools such as Rhode Island College, RIC admit students with an intent to major in nursing but do not accept students into the program until their sophomore year.   There are public and private school options for 4 year colleges.  Often private schools have a higher tuition, but may have more financial aid available. 
  • Advanced Degree programs – Masters Degrees and Doctoral Degrees are important and valuable to those interested in higher levels of competencies and in leadership within the nursing and healthcare fields.  These degree programs are very specialized and should be approached with regard to the specific interest area and job application.

CCRI Nursing Program Pathway for RINI Students

CCRI Nursing program and RINI have partnered to offer a unique college pathway for RINI students only. This program will allow RINI students to apply directly into the CCRI Nursing program in their senior year of high school as long as students meet the prerequisites for the program.  They will then be able to  take advantage of the free tuition offered by the RI Promise Program.  Within 2 years, RINI students can earn their Registered Nurse (RN) licensure and an Associates Degree from CCRI.  Through an articulation agreement with URI, they can then transfer into the RN-BSN program and compete that within as few as 15 additional months.  This is a very promising program for many RINI students.

  • For more information, please contact Ms. Keating, guidance counselor at
  • Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments or concerns: 401 680-4900