COVID-19 (coronavirus) Updates

July 27, 2020: COVID-19 Update

Copy of email communication sent on Monday, July 27, 2020

Dear members of the RISD Continuing Education community,

As we are exactly one week away from opening fall registration, I want to share some important news, updates and information about our community, programming and plans for the future.

First, I want to acknowledge just how much has changed in the past couple of months. From having to cancel all of our in-person summer classes to moving essentially all of our programming online, our students, instructors and staff have undergone unprecedented levels of disruption, stress and change. We have navigated these challenges together gracefully, fully harnessing all of the best attributes of RISD CE—using our innovation, hard work and creativity to make the best of this situation. We accomplished this while keeping the health, safety and well-being of our community as our top priority.

Continuing Online Classes This Fall
To date, since moving online this past spring, we have launched a total of 210+ online classes on our learning management system CE Link. We have enrolled a total of 2,100+ students, who have participated in classes ranging from Teen and Adult programs to college-credit RISD Summer Programs and our new Advanced Program for High School Students. A special thank you goes out to nearly 80 instructors who quickly and effectively pivoted to online learning, and who are now thriving in this new virtual environment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to plan and offer robust online programming, and we will not be planning in-person classes at RISD Campus in Providence or at Tillinghast Place throughout the fall term.

Welcome Back to Westerly
As we continue to make significant investments in online learning, we are also excited to announce hybrid (in-person/online) classes this fall at the Westerly Education Center in Westerly, Rhode Island. The Westerly Education Center will be keeping with the most recent guidelines from both the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to ensure the health and safety of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies include practices such as wearing a cloth mask while on the Westerly Education Center property, maintaining 6 feet of space between yourself and others at all times, and keeping to a small group by not fraternizing with other classes and visitors. Please take some time to read and review WEC’s COVID-19 health and safety policy.

Programmatic Changes
Throughout these turbulent times, we have done our best to offer online versions of what were traditionally in-person classes, and starting this fall we will start offering hybrid (in-person/online) courses at the Westerly Education Center. There are a few changes you might notice in our adult programming:

  • Shorter online course format: In “normal” times, online courses are delivered in a shorter time frame than in-person courses; they are geared toward people who choose to study online because they have other primary obligations, like work or family. Moving forward, we will be transitioning 12-week online classes into two (18 contact hour), 6-week sessions. Each will be a stand-alone course, with distinct goals and expectations. Taken together these will be the equivalent of one (36 contact hour) 12-week, in-person course.
  • We hope to have both options in the future: When the time is right to safely return to RISD Campus, we hope to continue offering online courses to provide a flexible experience for students and an in-person version of those classes for students who prefer the longer and local campus experience.
  • Shifts and substitutions: Some of our classes, particularly those that require specialized equipment or nuanced hands-on training don’t translate well online. We have worked hard to come up with alternative online experiences and experimental digital formats and will continue to do so.

Social Equity + Inclusion 
I would like to bring to your attention some of the work RISD is undertaking with the Center for Social Equity + Inclusion in response to community activism around social equity and inclusion, as highlighted in an article in the Boston Globe. RISD Continuing Education’s Mission states that “we are committed to providing an immersive and innovative art and design education for everyone, at all stages of life and all levels of experience.” We are deeply invested in this work and look forward to our continued partnership with SEI. To learn more, please visit RISD’s Center for Social Equity + Inclusion website.

New Registration System + Student Portal
We have seen a tremendous, global, interest in our online programming and we look to continue allocating resources to grow in this space. We are also excited to announce we are actively building a new student registration system, complete with a student portal, which will help better connect our virtual community, as well as improve our overall student experience.

We will continue our recent practice of closing class registration three business days before class start dates to give students time to plan and gather supplies, so please register early to secure a spot in your preferred class this fall. I would like to thank you all for your patience and perseverance as we navigate this new normal together. Please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to me with questions or concerns. I hope you can join us online, or in person at the Westerly Education Center this fall.

Sincerely,

Sarah Caggiano (she/her/hers)
Executive Director
Continuing Education (CE)
Rhode Island School of Design

June 15, 2020: COVID-19 Update

Although RISD will be opening in the fall with degree students on campus in a de-densified model, RISD CE will not be offering in-person classes until further notice.

We continue to offer classes online, including programming for adults and teens, Summer Programs, and our new Advanced Program for High School Students. Registration for Summer 2020 Online is open. Browse Online Summer Courses.

We are in active discussions with the Westerly Education Center and other possible locations to hopefully offer in-person classes and/or hybrid models of learning and instruction in the near future.

As soon as we know more about our future offerings, whether they be in-person, online or hybrid, we’ll be sure to keep you updated via this website and if you fill out this short form. We look forward to staying connected with you. Please stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Past Updates

April 8, 2020: COVID-19 Update

RISD CE Online: Classes Start April 27

At RISD Continuing Education, we’re committed to your academic and professional development – and above all, your health and well-being. That’s why we have transformed several of our in-person courses to an accessible online format that will allow you to connect, engage and create while maintaining the social distance that is vital to our response to COVID-19.

Our initial round of 14 online courses begins the final week of April and gives you a flexible and high-quality learning experience that you can access anywhere. This is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with a tight-knit community of builders, makers and creators; update your job skills to advance your profession; and continue learning and creating.

These six-week courses for adults age 18 and older will be taught through our online course management system CE Link. Most courses meet during a specific time of day, in Eastern Time, on the video conferencing platform Zoom. Please visit our Registration FAQ for additional information and resources.

Join us this spring to stay on track with a certificate program, explore a new subject, or take your very first course in art and design.

Courses begin the week of April 27.

Copy of email communication sent on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Dear members of the RISD Continuing Education community,

I hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe during these unprecedented times. This remains a rapidly evolving situation, and I appreciate your patience, kindness, and perseverance as we navigate this new normal together.

Over the past several weeks I have been working closely with RISD senior leadership as we continue to monitor the local, national and global impact COVID-19 (coronavirus) has on our RISD CE community. The health, safety and well-being of our students, instructors and staff remains our top priority, and every decision we’ve made over the past few weeks reflects that.

Given the uncertain projections for when COVID-19 will slow, we have decided the most responsible course of action for summer is to not hold any programming on campus or in-person.

As a result, all RISD Continuing Education in-person classes will be canceled for Summer 2020. This includes RISD Young Artist Program camps and classes, as well as Continuing Education courses for our adult students.

This decision was not taken lightly, but we need to prioritize the well-being of our tight-knit community. You will be receiving an email communication immediately following this update regarding refunds if you have already registered for a RISD Young Artist camp or class. Information for our certificate students regarding Certificate Program Graduation will be made available as soon as possible.

Although our in-person classes are canceled this summer, we are actively working on some exciting new programming for adult students to be offered online. If you are interested in being notified when these new courses launch in the coming weeks, please fill out this short form. We hope you consider joining us to stay connected, engaged and creating with RISD CE.

Please keep in touch with us virtually through email and social media. Stay inspired and connected with us by tagging your at-home projects with #risdceWORK. Reach out to us if you ever have questions, concerns or ideas at cemail@risd.edu. I wish good health to you and your families during the coming months.

Sarah Caggiano
Executive Director, Continuing Education
Rhode Island School of Design

Copy of email communication sent on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Dear members of the RISD Continuing Education community,

I write to you as COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to be an evolving situation. While there have recently been presumptive cases reported in Rhode Island, there continue to be no suspected cases of COVID-19 at RISD.

RISD is actively monitoring COVID-19 locally and globally and our top concern is our community’s health and well being. We have been and will continue to follow all recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH).

We continue to encourage all members of the community to take preventative actions as recommended by the CDC. Most importantly – stay home if you are sick, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

We are actively monitoring COVID-19 locally and globally and our top concern is our community’s health and well being. I’d like to provide a new update that any RISD community member, including Continuing Education participants, who has recently traveled to countries with widespread transmissions of COVID-19—China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea—are asked to not return to the RISD campus within 14 days of travel return.

We will continue to keep you updated on COVID-19 developments. Our thoughts are with the students, faculty and staff who have family and other connections to the regions affected by this situation.

Sarah Caggiano
Executive Director
Continuing Education (CE)
Rhode Island School of Design

Copy of email communication sent on Thursday, March 12, 2020

Dear Members of the RISD Continuing Education Community,

As COVID-19 continues to evolve, the health and well-being of our community is our top priority. While there continues to be no known cases of COVID-19 at RISD and the recent tests on three Brown students came back negative, the potential for the situation to change is real and cannot be ignored. After a great deal of consideration, RISD’s leadership team has decided to cancel in-person classes for the remainder of the spring semester. The final day that undergraduate and graduate classes meet in-person will be Friday, March 20th.

As a result, below are the following updates for CE:

  • In line with RISD, it is expected that all classes will continue to meet in person, as scheduled, through March 20th.
  • The final day that all Adult RISD Continuing Education classes will meet in-person will be Friday, March 20th.
  • The final day for all RISD’s Young Artist classes that meet in-person will be Friday, March 20th – subsequent sessions will be canceled. Classes that have not yet started this spring will be canceled altogether.
  • For any Adult classes that have already started, after March 20th, the spring semester will be suspended until further notice. Classes that have not yet started this spring will be canceled.

Some additional updates to consider:

  • All students who are registered for an Adult Continuing Education course that has not yet started will receive a full refund.
  • All students who are registered for a Young Artist course that has not yet started will receive a full refund. For classes that have already met at least one session, we will be in touch on or before March 18th regarding tuition paid.
  • Registration for Spring classes will no longer be available. Summer registration for Young Artist is currently open and will remain so. As a reminder, summer registration for Adult Extension courses will be available on April 20th.
  • The RISD Continuing Education Office will remain open and operations will continue as usual until further notice.
  • For any classes that have already started, after March 20th, the spring semester will be suspended until further notice. Classes that have not yet started will be canceled.

Given the nature of our curriculum, we need to make decisions as to how to plan for alternate modes of instruction, if needed, in the weeks ahead. Further updates will be sent on or before Wednesday, March 18th.

We have many more decisions to make in the coming days and weeks, including what these changes will mean for the Continuing Education graduation ceremony and the remainder of spring semester. We will move as quickly as possible to address these open questions and appreciate your patience as plans are made. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office.

Sincerely,

Sarah Caggiano
Executive Director
Continuing Education (CE)
Rhode Island School of Design

Copy of email communication sent on Sunday, March 15, 2020

Dear Members of the RISD Continuing Education Community,

I am writing to share some important updates and information for RISD Continuing Education and RISD Young Artist Program students, instructors and families. We learned yesterday that Rhode Island now has 20 current confirmed cases of COVID-19, up from five cases just a few days ago, as well as hundreds of people in self-quarantine.

Both the State of Rhode Island and the U.S. Federal Government have declared states of emergency, and Governor Gina Raimondo has closed all public K-12 schools in the state for the coming week. We have also just learned that one of those new positive cases is a member of the Brown community. Although in the initial contact screening there is no connection between that individual and RISD’s population, we feel the seriousness of this public health crisis has risen to the point where we are forced to act more swiftly.

Therefore, RISD is canceling on-campus classes immediately and closing academic facilities to students effective Tuesday, March 17 at 5 pm.

As a result of these developments, RISD Continuing Education has made the following decisions:

  • All Adult RISD Continuing Education classes that meet in-person have been SUSPENDED, effectively immediately, until further notice*. This includes all classes at the Providence Campus, Westerly Education Center and Tillinghast Place. All students who are registered for an Adult Continuing Education course that has not yet started will receive a full refund.
  • All Young Artist RISD Continuing Education classes that meet in-person have been CANCELED effective immediately. This includes all classes at the Providence Campus, Westerly Education Center and Tillinghast Place. All students who are registered for a RISD Young Artist course that has not yet started will receive a full refund. For classes that have already met at least one session, we will be in touch on or before March 18th regarding tuition paid.
  • All RISD facilities will be closed as of March 17th at 5 pm, if you have any belongings on campus, please make sure to retrieve those before that time or email CE at cemail@risd.edu.
  • Registration for Spring classes will no longer be available. Summer registration for Young Artist is currently open. As a reminder, summer registration for Adult Extension courses will be available on April 20th.
    *Given the nature of our curriculum, we need to make decisions as to how to plan for alternate modes of instruction if needed in the weeks ahead. Further updates will be sent on or before Wednesday, March 18th.

We have many more decisions to make in the coming days and weeks, including what these changes will mean for the Continuing Education graduation ceremony. We will move as quickly as possible to address any questions you may have and appreciate your patience as plans are made.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at cemail@risd.edu.


Sarah Caggiano
Executive Director
Continuing Education (CE)
Rhode Island School of Design