Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education


John H. McCray Jr., Dean, Vice Provost for Urban Programs
Kathryn Quina, Associate Dean

The Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education (ASFCCE) confers the University’s Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.) degree and sponsors nearly 500 additional courses per semester, allowing students to pursue or complete a number of other University degree programs at the Feinstein Providence Campus. All ASFCCE-sponsored programs and courses are designed to respond to the needs of busy students with jobs, families, and personal responsibilities that may conflict with the more traditional full-time residential college experience. At ASFCCE students will find a dedicated staff, a flexible class schedule, and a supportive community composed of commuter, part-time, adult, financially independent, or otherwise nontraditional students who are assuming multiple roles as they pursue their University studies.

ASFCCE offers the following degree and majors:

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies
Applied Communications
Business Institutions
Health Services Administration
Human Studies

In addition, the Feinstein Providence Campus sponsors courses leading to the following degrees in other University colleges:

Bachelor of Arts
Communication Studies

Bachelor of Science
General Business Administration
Human Development and Family Studies
Medical Laboratory Science (specialty in Biotechnology Manufacturing)

Graduate-Level Programs
Education (M.A., specialty in adult education)
Business Administration (M.B.A.)
Communication Studies (M.A.)
Labor Relations and Human Resources (M.S.)
Library and Information Studies (M.L.I.S.)
Medical Laboratory Science (M.S.)
Public Administration (M.P.A.)

Information on the college’s B.I.S. degree follows. For curriculum requirements on any of the other programs listed above, see the Undergraduate Programs and Graduate School Program Descriptions sections of this catalog.

LEAP (Learning Enhancement for Adults Program), which helps students build confidence and skills in reading, writing, and basic computer applications, is available to interested returning adult students. Also, students may qualify for scholarships offered exclusively to ASFCCE students.

ASFCCE also offers for-credit certificate programs in applied behavioral psychology, alcohol and drug counseling, and thanatology, as well as non-credit certificate programs. Individual credit and noncredit Continuing Education Unit (CEU) courses are offered in addition to institutes and special courses planned for business, industry, labor, and government agencies.

Courses are offered on weekday mornings, afternoons, evenings, and Saturdays. The college also offers distance learning courses through the Internet. Students enrolling in a degree program may attend at times most convenient for them.

For more information, visit or call 401.277.5000.

In case of discrepancies between this Catalog and the departmental materials, this URI Catalog is considered definitive. Departmental websites and departmental curricular and course materials are maintained independently and do not necessarily reflect University-approved curricular and course information.

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies

Coordinator: Anne Hubbard, Ph.D.

The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.) program is designed for adults who have been away from high school for three or more years. It is a good choice both for people who have never been to college and for students who attended college in the past but did not complete a degree. For the latter, the B.I.S. program makes it possible to apply their previous educational experience toward a degree program. The admission process should begin with an interview with a B.I.S. advisor in the Providence Campus’s Admission and Advising Office.

Qualified applicants interested in other programs at ASFCCE may also be interested in the college’s performance-based admission policy; see Performance-Based Admission for details.
The B.I.S. program consists of the following required sections: 1) Pro-Seminar (BIS 100), 2) Traditions and Transformations (URI 101B), 3) general education, 4) major curriculum, 5) electives, and 6) Senior Project (BIS 399).

A total of 118 credits is required for the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree.

Pro-Seminar for Returning Students (3 credits). This is the required entry course that introduces returning students to the college’s academic environment. The BIS 100 course helps students identify their scholastic strengths and interests, and assists adults in building the self-confidence to pursue a degree plan. The Pro-Seminar is limited to 16 students and opens the door to the University by helping returning students adjust to academic life. The instructors are carefully chosen and all have prior experience in teaching adults.

While enrolled in the Pro-Seminar, B.I.S. students are encouraged to take one or more College Level Examinations Program (CLEP) tests to measure academic knowledge acquired through prior experience. Credits gained through these tests are applied to the general education requirements. (See “CLEP Examination Program” in Advanced Standing.)

Traditions and Transformations (1 credit). URI 101B is a University-wide seminar to introduce new students to the academic culture of higher education and to significant issues that bear on the development of each student’s goals for the undergraduate years. Students enroll concurrently in URI 101B and the Pro-Seminar (BIS 100).

General Education Requirements (39 credits). Students in the B.I.S. program must meet the University’s General Education Requirements, including the URI 101 requirement. (Note: Health services administration majors must take MTH 107 or STA 220 as the math requirement. Business institutions majors should take BUS 111 as the math requirement.) B.I.S. students use Senior Seminars BIS 390, 391, 392 to fulfill general education requirements. Students should consult frequently with their B.I.S. advisor to be sure all general education requirements are met.

Senior Seminars (18 credits). The Senior Seminars are a distinctive feature of the B.I.S. program. These three six-credit seminars are interdisciplinary in nature and enable students to integrate and synthesize their educational experiences. These seminars are normally begun when students have completed their other general education courses and most of the courses required for their major.

BIS 390 Social Science Seminar (6 crédits)

BIS 391 Natural Science Seminar (6 credits)

BIS 392 Humanities Seminar (6 credits)

Major Curriculum (45 credits). B.I.S. students can choose from the following majors: applied communications, business institutions, health services administration, and human studies. These majors allow students to take courses in several disciplines to meet their educational goals in a nontraditional way. A major may be made up of a carefully prescribed set of courses or it may be flexible in its requirements, allowing students to work creatively with an advisor to design an individualized program that meets both the student’s needs and the general goals of the B.I.S. program.

Electives (24-27 credits). Electives permit students to complete the B.I.S. degree in a number of creative ways, through course work, carefully designed work experience, internships, or previous but relevant educational experience.

Senior Project (3 credits). All B.I.S. students must complete BIS 399. This capstone experience for B.I.S. students provides a structure that enables the student to integrate knowledge and skills from coursework and related experiences with a research project or field experience. The project must be designed so that it allows the student to demonstrate the relationship of subject matter, theory, and practice. Students are required to meet with the B.I.S. coordinator to plan a project proposal. This written proposal must meet with the approval of both the coordinator and an appropriate faculty advisor before the student can register for BIS 399.

Applied Communications Major

Students interested in the broad field of applied communications will be interested in this major. It allows a student, working with an advisor, to design an individual program that must then be approved by the program coordinator.

Communications Core (24 credits). These courses, all at or above the 200 level, must be chosen from communication studies, journalism, and writing (or ENG 205 or 305), with 12 credits from one department and 6 credits from each of the other two. Prerequisite communications courses are COM 100 and WRT 104.

Methodology Course (3 credits). Students may select COM 381, 382, 383, HDF 202, PSY 200, or STA 308.

Major Seminar (BIS 398) (3 credits). Students take this course near the end of their degree program, as it gives them an opportunity to review and evaluate the skills and knowledge they have acquired through their major.

Area of Emphasis (15 credits). With the help of an advisor, students select 15 credits that will comprise an area of emphasis, which may be used either to further develop skills in communications or for study in related areas. This area of emphasis must be approved by an advisor and the program coordinator by the beginning of the student’s junior year.

Business Institutions Major

Students interested in the broad field of business will be interested in this major. This is a fully prescribed program with a specific list of required courses (course codes in parentheses refer to the former codes for these courses):

BUS 110 Business Computing Applications (BAC 110) or CSC 101, Computing Concepts

BUS 201 Financial Accounting (ACC 201)

BUS 202 Managerial Accounting (ACC 202)

BUS 210 Managerial Statistics I (BAC 201) or STA 308, Introductory Satistics

BUS 315 Legal and Ethical Environment of Business I (BSL 333)

BUS 320 Financial Management (FIN 301)

BUS 340 Organization and Management Theory I (MGT 301)

BUS 355 Operations and Supply Chain Management (MSI 309)

BUS 365 Marketing Principles (MKT 301)

ECN 201 Principles of Economics: Microeconomics

ECN 202 Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics

WRT 227 Business Communications

Business Elective (3 credits) or BUS 111 (if not taken as general education math requirement)

In addition to the courses above, students must elect one liberal elective course offered by a department outside their major. Most courses that fulfill these major requirements are available in Providence in the evening.

Health Services Administration Major

This interdisciplinary major offers students a broad overview of the health care system, while allowing them to focus on a specific area of interest. The program provides strong preparation for entry or mid-level managerial and supervisory positions in organizations such as skilled nursing facilities, adult day care centers, home health care agencies, hospitals, clinics, laboratories, physicians’ offices, governmental and regulatory agencies, and health plans. This course of study may also be applied in industries related to the health field, such as research and development, pharmaceuticals, and the insurance or computer industry.

This major is appropriate for students who have no previous exposure to this field, and for those who may already be employed in the field and are looking for a degree to give them the skills and knowledge to assume more significant responsibilities.

This major is also appropriate for students with 2-year allied health degrees who wish to continue their undergraduate studies. In most cases, a substantial portion of credits earned in the 2-year program will transfer toward the bachelor’s degree.

Major Courses (30 credits)

BUS 201 Financial Accounting (formerly ACC 201)

ECN 201 Principles of Economics: Microeconomics

ECN 360 Health Economics

HDF 202 Research Perspectives in Human Development & Family Studies

HDF 357 Family and Community Health

HSA 360 Health Services Administration

HSA 380 Introductory Health Services Practicum

PHL 314 Ethical Problems in Society and Medicine

PSC 481 Political Science Seminar: Health Care Policy and Politics

SOC 224 Health, Illness, and Medical Care

Areas of Emphasis within the Health Services Administration Major (18 credits): Students fulfill the area of emphasis requirement by designing an area of emphasis to fit the student’s experience and career interests, or by choosing from existing minors (see Minor Fields of Study).

Human Studies Major

Students interested in the wide range of human studies or human services will be attracted to this major. It permits the student, working with an advisor, to design a major that will meet both personal and career goals. All human studies majors must have their program design approved in advance by an academic advisor and the program coordinator. It must include the following four parts:

Social Science Core (24 credits). Students are required to select 24 credits from three of the following departments in the College of Arts and Sciences: economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology and anthropology. These departments determine which of their courses are suitable for the B.I.S. major.

The 24 credits must be distributed as follows: four courses from one department, two courses from a second department, and two courses from a third. Only two prerequisite or introductory-level courses are allowed in the major. Students should meet with an advisor for more information regarding these courses.

Methodology Course (3 credits). Students are strongly advised to fulfill this requirement by taking HDF 202. In exceptional cases, students may be allowed to meet the methods requirement by taking PSY 200, SOC 301, or STA 220.

Major Seminar (BIS 397, 3 credits). Students take this course near the end of their degree program. It will give them an opportunity to review and evaluate the skills and knowledge they have acquired through their major.

Area of Emphasis (15 credits). The area of emphasis provides the student with an opportunity to select a group of courses that focus on a particular problem or population of interest. Once a particular focus is identified, students select 15 credits at or above the 300 level from a wide variety of departments. The advisor and the B.I.S. coordinator must approve the Area of Emphasis.

Registration and Admission

Students must enroll in courses prior to the beginning of each semester. Being enrolled in a course is not the same as being admitted to the University. To apply for admission to an undergraduate degree program, a student must follow the application procedure (description follows). However, credits earned through successful completion of courses may eventually be applied toward a degree program after a student is accepted as a degree candidate.

Beginning students who have been away from school for some time with little or no course work beyond high school are encouraged to register in the Pro-Seminar (BIS 100) and URI 101B (see explanation in Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies).

Any adult may enroll as a nonmatriculated student in ASFCCE. Most courses at the University are open to nonmatriculated students; however, day courses at the Kingston campus are open only on a space-available basis.

All information and forms necessary for registration are available on the Providence campus website at  For more information, call 401.277.5160.

Application Procedure. A student who wishes to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at ASFCCE should begin by scheduling an interview with an academic advisor to explore the options available and to discuss the student’s previous educational experiences. The student then fills out an admission application and provides the necessary transcripts and other paperwork.

Once a student is admitted to an undergraduate degree program, he or she should consult frequently with the advisor. The student and advisor will fill out a program worksheet that lists the courses necessary to complete the degree.

Alternate Ways to Earn Credit. ASFCCE recognizes a number of ways to earn college credits. Students may take CLEP (College Level Examination Program) exams in a wide variety of areas to earn credit. For more information, see “CLEP Examination Program” in Advanced Standing.

Students also have the ability to earn credit towards a degree for documented college-level learning acquired outside a college classroom through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program. There are many situations in which adults may have accomplished college-level work: through paid and/or volunteer work, travel or living in another culture, community activities, or in-depth study of a topic of interest. Students develop a portfolio (résumé, compilation of data, experiences, theory and applied knowledge that demonstrates college-level learning) in the required one-credit PLA 100 seminar. See course descriptions under “Prior Learning Assessment.” Check with your advisor to see if a PLA portfolio can be used towards your degree requirements.

Services for Students

The ASFCCE provides a number of services for students, including free academic advising, peer counseling, career counseling, tutoring, writing assistance, services for students with disabilities, and counseling and testing services. The Providence campus also has a bookstore, a library, and a snack bar, plus a comfortable student lounge area where students and faculty can meet, talk, and relax.

Fees and Finances

Tuition and fees for ASFCCE students are given in the Tuition & Fees section of this catalog. They may also be found at The registration fee is not refundable except when URI cancels or closes a course. The Student Services Fee supports a student government, and various lectures and cultural events determined by an activities board of elected ASFCCE students. Fees for Special Programs courses vary (consult the course schedule or contact the Special Programs Office). For information on refunds, see Refund Policy.

Financial Aid. Financial Aid advising is available to all ASFCCE students through our Admission and Advising Office. Only matriculated students enrolled on at least a half-time basis (six credits) may be considered for an award. Student Financial Assistance determines eligibility for all grants, loans, and employment, which are awarded on an academic-year basis. Financial aid will be awarded only after a student has applied for a Pell Grant and has submitted a Pell Student Eligibility Report to this office.

A limited number of scholarships are available to students matriculating at ASFCCE. Students are required to complete a FAFSA application to be considered. For a brochure, call 401.277.5160.

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