We asked college presidents to predict the future for today’s kindergartners

Newman Hall, the undergraduate admissions office, at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, Rhode Island.
Newman Hall, the undergraduate admissions office, at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, Rhode Island.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

If you have friends or relatives who would like their own free copy of this daily briefing about Rhode Island, tell them they can sign up here.


Happy Friday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and my top five includes Jay-Z, Tupac, Eminem, Jadakiss and Lil Wayne. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

First, a reminder that there will be no Rhode Map on Monday as we celebrate Labor Day. We’ll return Tuesday.

If you couldn’t tell from all of those adorable pictures of children on your Facebook feed, it’s back-to-school season.


In honor of the youngsters starting kindergarten this year, Rhode Map asked college presidents across the state to predict what college will be like when those kids graduate from high school in 2032. Their answers were pretty practical. But they also provide a good window into how they see education evolving for a new generation.

Without further ado, here’s what seven of the presidents had to say.

Christina Paxson, Brown University

“Students who come to Brown in 2032 will be more socioeconomically diverse and global than they are today, creating an even more intellectually vibrant campus. Digital tools will be fully and seamlessly integrated into all aspects of their education, in a way that reinforces the power of faculty and students working together to advance knowledge and understanding on pressing societal issues. And, they will find a campus that is close to achieving its goal of being carbon neutral.”

David Dooley, University of Rhode Island

“By 2032 the University of Rhode Island’s goal of creating a 24/7 learning environment will be fully developed. Enabled by advanced communication technologies, virtual reality, and AI, students will be able to earn degrees and credentials on a schedule and timeline completely determined by them. Faculty and students can interact at any time, from anywhere in the world.”


Frank Sanchez, Rhode Island College

“The high school student body to graduate in the year 2032, Gen Alpha, will experience a digitally-integrated delivery of collegiate services, experiences and training. I’m convinced that the internet-of-things environment will require colleges and universities to provide digitally and virtually accessible competency-based certifications, while offering venues and platforms to assess proficiencies with essential/soft skills and general education individually and in groups. I believe Gen Alpha will also experience an increase in industry embedded collegiate experiences where education occurs both on campus and at industry sites.”

Meghan Hughes, Community College of Rhode Island

“In 2032, we anticipate our student body to be majority-minority, with the largest demographic being Latin X, adding to the already rich and diverse community at CCRI. When students enter one of our four campuses, they will find first-rate buildings with the newest technology to ensure excellent teaching and learning. One thing that will remain the same is CCRI’s ability to adapt quickly to an ever-evolving economic landscape by delivering an affordable education that positions our students to launch rewarding careers in high-demand industries, be it artificial intelligence, clean energy, or an industry yet to be imagined.”

Rosanne Somerson, Rhode Island School of Design

“Students will be more demographically diverse, and will be learning legacy knowledge along with technologies and practices that don’t exist yet.”


Ioannis Miaoulis, Roger Williams University

“By 2032, the Roger Williams campus will be boundaryless. Working to solve real problems that matter to communities across our region and around the world, our students will conduct important undergraduate research, partake in community-engaged projects, and have hands-on-internships that take them beyond the classroom and develop them to become the global citizens that the competitive and diverse workplaces of the future will require.”

Kelli Armstrong, Salve Regina University

“Our class of 2032 will receive a customized upload of Salve’s signature Mercy curriculum – likely into a device we can’t even imagine – optimizing the delivery of educational materials to suit each student’s learning style that is expertly managed by our team of highly-qualified and engaged faculty. Our interdisciplinary academic approach will blend the excellence of all areas, streamlining curricular and co-curricular learning experiences that result in alumni who have developed into their best selves and who are highly sought in a complex world.”


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

• Is Rhode Island prepared to withstand another recession? With national experts warning that a downturn in the economy is on the horizon, Ed Fitzpatrick talked to regional economists and government officials about ways the state can avoid being first in and last out.

• My colleague Joshua Miller reports Massachusetts residents won’t be able to bet on the NFL this year. Unless they come to Rhode Island.


• The ACLU is suing the Providence School Department seeking documents related to US Department of Justice investigation into the district’s programming for English language learners. The city ended up agreeing to settle the case, but nothing other than the settlement deal has been released.

• Here’s everything you need to know about the TB12 flagship center in Back Bay.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Who serves the best clam cakes in Rhode Island? Email me at Dan.Mcgowan@globe.com and I’ll share fun answers on Tuesday.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green will make her first visit to Exeter-West Greenwich Regional High School this morning to kick off the school year.

• Check out the Rhythm & Roots Festival in Charlestown this weekend.

• Don’t miss PeachFest on Sunday and Monday.

• There’s a partial lighting of WaterFire on Sunday night.

• Enjoying Rhode Map so far? Do us a favor and encourage your friends to sign up here.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you on Tuesday.

Please tell your friends about Rhode Map! They can sign up here. The Globe has other e-mail newsletters on topics ranging from breaking news alerts to sports, politics, business, and entertainment -- check them out.