Dec 13, 2018  
2016-2017 School of Continuing Education Catalog 
2016-2017 School of Continuing Education Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College Information

Catholic and Dominican

Providence College is a Roman Catholic, four-year, liberal arts college and the only college or university in the United States founded by and conducted under the auspices of the Dominican Friars. Formally known as the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans were founded by the Spanish priest St. Dominic de Guzman in 1216.

The 13th century was a time of rapid social change and one in which people were beset with a welter of competing ideologies that vied for their loyalty. Amidst it all, people longed for the authentic Christian message. Unfortunately, the church was ill equipped to provide what people needed. The clergy was often poorly educated, corruption was rife, and there seemed to be little authentic witness to the Gospel.

St. Dominic therefore gathered together men and women, Friars and nuns, and later sisters and laity, who would live the Gospel more authentically and preach its truth with both their words and their lives. From the beginning, he sent his Friars to the great universities of the time: Oxford, Paris, and Bologna. He wanted his Friars to be educated so that their preaching and teaching would be informed, able to answer the questions of the day, and meet people’s longing for the Gospel. Ideally, his Friars were to be men of faith, prayer, and learning who could respond to the needs of their time without fear and confident that the human mind, a mere creature, could rightly, if imperfectly, understand its Creator.

Although Providence College is relatively young, having been founded in 1917, the values and goals embodied in its mission reach back 800 years. And while the 13th century may seem distant to us, it serves as a mirror of our own age: a time of rapid social change, competing ideologies, and amidst the confusion, a yearning for what is true, good, and holy.

A Catholic and Dominican College For Our Time

In some ways, the fact that Providence College is a Catholic and Dominican college is obvious. The Friars wear their habits when teaching or ministering, St. Dominic Chapel is located in the very center of campus, and crucifixes adorn the walls of classrooms and offices. Additionally, most students, faculty, and staff are Catholic; the 10:30 Mass on Sunday nights is always standing room only; and students are required to take classes in philosophy and theology.

Other aspects of the Catholic and Dominican identity are more subtle or even unexpected. Catholic teaching guides the investment of the endowment, the enforcement of parietals in the residence halls, and the generosity extended to students and employees in need. Hundreds of students volunteer their service through Campus Ministry every year, and at all hours someone can be found praying quietly in the chapel.

By charter, Providence College was the first college or university in Rhode Island to welcome students of every faith or none, and it has a long, close, and continuing relationship with Rhode Island’s Jewish community.

Yet in some ways the Catholic and Dominican character of Providence College precisely as a college is most evident in its approach to faith and reason. For many people, faith and reason stand in opposition to one another; they are black and white, irreconcilable, and best kept apart. Not so for Dominicans. In the tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas, Dominicans assert that faith and reason are compatible, complementary, and point to a single truth.

There is no opposition between the theory of evolution and belief in divine providence, for example, because how God accomplishes His purposes is a distinct question from why, even as the answers to the two questions are intimately related. Science has every right to try and understand how the universe works-indeed, it is God’s will that the human mind probe creation in order to understand it-and theology has every right to assert that everything that takes place is in service of a loving plan. What remains true is that it is God’s creation. Moreover, while faith is a gift from God, reason supports faith. This means that faith in God is not merely the result of custom, feeling, and private choice but can be a thoughtful and reasonable response to the evidence at hand. Indeed, while intimate knowledge of God in himself-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-requires revelation, knowledge that God exists can be arrived at by reason alone.

The implications of this assertion of the compatibility of faith and reason for education are profound. Questions, debates, and challenges are welcomed, as are people of hesitant faith, different faiths, or even no faith at all. Believers cannot take refuge in the assurances of faith but must learn to provide reasons for what they believe and, when it comes to the classroom, they must pursue biology, history, or accountancy with uncompromising rigor and integrity as a biologist, historian, or accountant.

At the same time, those of questioning or absent faith will be challenged by their studies in the Development of Western Civilization, philosophy, and theology. There they will have to contend with an understanding of God that is hardly the sop of comfort that Marx and Freud asserted, and will have to reconsider whether in fact faith in God is a more exacting stance than is non-belief.

It should be evident that Providence College aims at something ambitious and critically important. It attempts to provide an education for the whole person-body, mind, and soul-that bridges the common divides between matter and spirit, God and creation, faith and reason. In doing so, it affirms the distinctively Catholic sense of sacrament and grace and, like the black and white of the Dominican habit, joins together apparent opposites in a greater unity. If successful, this means that everyone at Providence College will understand that they are made in the image and likeness of God; that their work, love, and play can be replete with God’s grace; and that they have a unique role in God’s loving plan, that is, in His providence.

Non-discrimination policy

Providence College admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, or veteran status and without regard to genetic information to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the College. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, veteran status or genetic information in the administration of its education policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other College-administered programs and employment policies. In accordance with Title IX, it does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs or activities.  Nothing in this notice shall require Providence College to act in a manner contrary to its Dominican mission and teaching and tenets of the Catholic Church, and the College reserves the right to take actions designed to ensure and promote its Catholic and Dominican mission. 

The College’s Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer, and ADA/Section 504 Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Resources (Kathy Alvino, Harkins 302, 401.865.2430, The Title IX Coordinator is the Assistant Vice President for Student Development and Compliance (Dr. James Campbell, Slavin 203, 401.865.2676, The Title IX Deputy Coordinators are: the Assistant Dean of Students (Tiffany Gaffney, Slavin 105, 401.865.2191,; the Assistant Vice President for Athletics/Executive Associate Athletic Director/SWA (Jill LaPoint, Alumni Hall, 401.865.2588,; the Senior Employment/Employee Relations Specialist (Malin Marin-Bean, Harkins 302, 401.865.2987, Inquiries regarding ADA/Section 504 issues for students may be directed to the Office of Academic Services (Jennifer Rivera, Library 250, 401.865.1121, and the Office of the Assistant Vice President for Student Development and Compliance (Dr. James Campbell, Slavin 203, 401.865.2676,

Accreditation statement

Providence College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the New England Association indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality periodically applied through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by the New England Association is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution. Inquiries regarding the accreditation status by the New England Association should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also contact:

Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
209 Burlington Road, Suite 201
Bedford, MA 01730-1433
781.271.0022 • E-mail:

Schools and divisions

Providence College is a primarily undergraduate, liberal arts, Catholic institution of higher education. Committed to fostering academic excellence through the sciences and humanities, the College provides a variety of opportunities for intellectual, social, moral and spiritual growth in a supportive environment.

The College’s academic organization centers around four schools: Arts & Sciences, Business, Professional Studies (all featured in other catalogs) and the School of Continuing Education.

The School of Continuing Education

The School of Continuing Education (SCE) was founded in 1919 as the Extension Division of Providence College. For almost one hundred years, this division of Providence College has been providing an outstanding education for those men and women who might otherwise have been denied such an opportunity. The philosophy that has guided, and will continue to guide, the School of Continuing Education is set forth in Section 7 of the Act of Incorporation of Providence College: “No person shall be refused admission to said college as a student, nor shall any person be denied any of the privileges, honors or degrees of said college on account of the religious opinions he may entertain.”

Today we recognize such statements guaranteeing equal opportunity for all people in the pursuit of an education. However, this statement cited from the Act of Incorporation of Providence College was written in February 1917. In this historical context, it stands as an enlightened document which embodies the spirit and commitment of Providence College in the field of higher education. This spirit and commitment to education is the result of eight centuries of Dominican tradition.

The School of Continuing Education affords an individual the opportunity of pursuing his or her undergraduate education on a part-time or full-time basis in any one of a variety of capacities: as a degree candidate in one of nine degree programs (from associate’s to master’s) and eight certificate programs; as a nondegree candidate, taking courses to be applied to a degree candidacy at a later time or for personal enrichment; or as an auditor, attending solely for personal enjoyment. Courses are offered in multiple terms throughout the year. Web-based distance-learning courses are also available. Semester course listings are available online and from the SCE office.

School of Continuing Education Mission Statement

The School of Continuing Education extends the distinctive Catholic, Dominican mission and liberal arts education of Providence College to adult learners of all backgrounds, enhancing their academic, professional, and personal growth. Our goal is to prepare students through college completion and lifelong learning opportunities to be educated and engaged 21st century citizens.

Graduate Programs

Providence College’s graduate programs develop scholars, teachers, and business leaders by providing opportunities for qualified persons to pursue advanced studies. Graduate programs lead to the degrees of master of arts in history; master of arts in biblical studies; master of arts in theology; master of theological studies; master of arts in teaching mathematics; master of business administration; and master of education in administration, counseling, special education, literacy or urban education.

National Alumni Association

The Providence College National Alumni Association is an organization that exists to foster a spirit of association among alumni/ae and to provide opportunities for alumni/ae to develop a life-long relationship to Providence College.

To accomplish these goals, the association sponsors an extensive program of educational, service, spiritual, and social activities to involve alumni in the mainstream of Providence College life. Through this program, the association also works to mobilize the tremendous resources of talent among the approximately 60,000 alumni of the College, to be used for the benefit of Providence College and its current and former students.

Scholarship events, assistance to student organizations, and career advising programs utilizing alumni volunteers are just a few of the alumni association activities that may be of interest to prospective Providence College students.

Academic Calendar

2016-2017 Fall Semester

August 2016

August 29 • Monday
Fall semester and Term I classes begin.

August 31 • Wednesday
Academic Convocation–All classes cancelled.

September 2016

September 5 • Monday
Holiday: Labor Day

October 2016

October 10 • Monday
Holiday: Columbus Day
All classes suspended.

October 11 • Tuesday

Last day to withdraw from Term I courses.

October 19 • Thursday
Term I classes end
Last day for submission of course work to instructor for all “I” and “NM” grades for Spring 2016 and Summer 2016.

October 24• Monday
Term II classes begin.

November 2016

November 1 • Tuesday
Solemnity of All Saints

November 8 • Tuesday
Last day to change to Pass/Fail for semester and online courses.

November 19• Saturday
Weather cancellation make-up day (if necessary)

November 21 • Monday
Registration for Wintersession and Spring courses begins.

November 23-27  • Wednesday-Sunday
Holiday: Thanksgiving Recess
All classes suspended.

December 2016

December 2 • Friday
Last day to withdraw from semester, Term II and online courses.

December 8 • Thursday
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

December 15 • Thursday
Term II classes end.

December 17 • Saturday
Last day of Fall Semester classes

December 19 • Monday
Wintersession (online) classes begin.

2016-2017 Spring Semester

January 2017

January 9 • Monday
Wintersession (daytime) classes begins.

January 11 • Wednesday
Last day to withdraw from Winter (online) classes.

January 12 • Thursday
Last day to withdraw from Winter (daytime) classes.

January 13 • Friday
Wintersession classes end.

January 14 • Saturday
Weather cancellation make-up day (if necessary)

January 16 • Monday
Holiday: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 17• Tuesday
Spring semester and Term III classes begin.

February 2017

February 20 • Monday
Holiday: Presidents’ Day
All classes suspended.

February 21 • Tuesday

March 2017

March 1 • Wednesday
Ash Wednesday

March 3 • Friday
Last day to withdraw from Term III classes 

March 4-12 • Saturday-Sunday
Spring Recess
All classes suspended.

March 13 • Monday
Registration for Summer classes begins.

March 15 • Wednesday
Last day for submission of course work to instructor for all “I” and “NM” grades for Fall 2016 and Winter 2017.

March 16 • Thursday
Term III classes end

March 20 • Monday
Term IV courses begin

April 2017

April 4 • Tuesday
Last day to change to Pass/Fail for semester and online classes.

April 13 -17• Thursday-Monday
Holiday: Easter Recess
All classes suspended.

April 19 • Wednesday

April 22 • Saturday
Weather cancellation make-up day (if necessary)

April 28 • Friday
Last day to withdraw from Spring semester, Term IV and online classes.

May 2017

May 11 • Thursday
Term IV classes end.

May 13 • Saturday
Last day of Spring Semester and online classes

May 20 • Saturday
Commencement Mass

May 21 • Sunday
Dunkin Donuts Center, 11:00 a.m.

Campus and facilities

The 105-acre campus of Providence College, situated in Rhode Island’s capital city, is removed from the traffic and noise of the metropolitan area but still remains close to the many cultural and educational offerings of Providence, a city that is enjoying a lively urban renaissance. The city is located only an hour’s drive from Boston and just a few hours’ drive from New York City. Interstate bus, train, and air transportation are conveniently available.

Campus Parking

Parking is allowed only upon issue of a permit from the Office of Safety and Security. Students must apply for a parking permit using an online form.  Once the application is approved, the parking pass can be picked up at the Office of Safety and Security which is open 24 hours a day. All cars must be registered. Strict ticketing and driving rules are enforced.

Note: While display of a campus parking permit allows a student access to designated parking areas, the availability of a parking space is not guaranteed. Students may have to park on adjacent streets, as city parking codes allow.

Academic Facilities

Classroom and laboratory facilities are found in Accinno Hall, Albertus Magnus Hall, the Ceramics Building, the Feinstein Academic Center, Harkins Hall (also the main administration building), Hickey Hall, Howley Hall, Hunt-Cavanagh Hall, Koffler Hall, Moore Hall, Phillips Memorial Library, Ruane Center for the Humanities, St. Catherine of Siena Hall, Smith Center for the Arts, Sowa Hall, and Sullivan Hall.

Technology Classrooms/Facilities

Classrooms at Providence College are furnished with networked computers, laptop connections, digital projectors, and the latest in audio and video equipment.  Many have interactive whiteboards or Apple TV devices to enhance the instructional environment.  Wireless connectivity is available in all classrooms.

Technology facilities are located in buildings across the campus. Accinno Hall houses the College’s Department of Information Technology Help Desk and four computer laboratories. Additional computer labs for PC faculty, staff, and students are found in Albertus Magnus Hall, Harkins Hall, Howley Hall, and Koffler Hall.  The TecHub, a combination IT and library Help Desk, is located in the lower level of the Phillips Memorial Library.

Phillips Memorial Library

The Philips Memorial Library is at the heart of the College’s intellectual life.  Much of the architecturally impressive facility, which was built in 1969, has been recently renovated. 

The library maintains a collection of approximately 392,900 print volumes and access to more than one million electronic books, available online from anywhere in the world. Patrons have access to approximately 710 current print periodical subscriptions and access to more than 52,000 full-text electronic journals. The library also offers an extensive collection of print and electronic research reference materials, including more than 130 bibliographic and full-text electronic databases, the third-largest research collection in Rhode Island (after Brown University and the University of Rhode Island). In addition, the library houses the Providence College Special and Archival Collections and the Office of Academic Services.

The library is a member of the HELIN (Higher Education Library Information Network) consortium, which gives students and faculty quick access to millions of volumes from many local and regional university libraries and several governmental, law, special and health-science libraries in Rhode Island.  In addition, the library’s interlibrary loan service connects students to worldwide resources free of charge.  

The Phillips Memorial Library provides robust access to the College’s wireless network. In the Library Commons tradition, the library offers 110 public access Windows and Macintosh desktop computers; sophisticated digitization and multime­dia processing resources in Digital Publishing Services and the MediaHub Laboratory; 36 PC and Macintosh laptops for check-out; 37 iPads with Web access for check-out; collaboration facilities in the lower-level TecHub; technology support in the TechStation; a presentation rehearsal/recording room; and an extensive array of productivity software, as well as an 18-computer electronic classroom. The InterHub connects the library to the Ruane Center for the Humanities and provides refreshments, robust wireless access, and seating for 36 patrons, color printing and five desktop computers. The library accommodates approximately 955 patrons in quiet and group-study areas.

For more information, including library hours, call 401.865.2242 or visit the website.

Smith Center for the Arts

This building serves as the premier teaching and performance facility for undergraduates enrolled in performing arts courses or participating in extracurricular activities involving music, theatre, dance and film. The primary performance venues are the 283-seat Angell Blackfriars Theatre; the 272-seat Ryan Concert Hall; and the 105-seat Bowab Studio Theatre, a flexible  “black box” theater which also serves as a teaching space.  Other teaching spaces include the Higgins Clark Dance Studio; a 20-keyboard piano lab; a film-screening classroom; a music library; and choral and instrumental practice rooms. The building also contains the Reilly Art Gallery, as well as offices, conference rooms, and storage areas for the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Film and the Department of Music.

Slavin Center

Slavin Center, the student union, is one of the main hubs of the Providence College campus and is home to the College’s many student organizations and clubs. It also houses a variety of offices and facilities that provide services to students, from the Office of Off-Campus Living and the Providence College Bookstore to the Career Education Center and ‘64 Hall, which serves as entertainment center, ballroom, and lecture hall. Slavin is also home to Dunkin Donuts, which is open throughout the day and late night for meals, beverages, or snacks.  Slavin Center is wireless so students may check e-mail, do homework, or surf the net from one of many lounge and seating areas.

Alumni Hall Food Court

The Alumni Hall Food Court is located in the lower level of the Slavin Center. The food court is open seven days per week during the academic year: Monday through Wednesday  from10:00 a.m. until midnight; Thursday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m.; Saturday from noon until 2:00 a.m.; and Sunday from noon until midnight. Hours of operation are limited during the summer months, holidays, and other times when day school classes are not in session.


The bookstore is located on the lower level of the Slavin Center. Regular bookstore hours during the academic year are Monday-Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and Saturday from noon to 4:00 p.m. (excluding intersessions and holidays). Students can call the bookstore at 401.865.2181 for the extended hours at the start of each semester to accommodate School of Continuing Education students. Textbook information and ordering is available online.

Campus Chapels

Providence College encourages the spiritual as well as the intellectual growth of each student. St. Dominic Chapel and the Campus Ministry Center are the center of spiritual life on campus. Additional places of prayer are the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary in the St.Thomas Aquinas Priory-Gragnani Dominican Center, the principal Dominican residence on campus, and the oratories in Harkins and Siena Halls.

Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies

The Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies is located in the former Aquinas Chapel. Administratively, the center is part of the Office of Mission and Ministry and, in collaboration with the Office of the Chaplain/Campus Ministry, it assists in coordinating the collegewide process of maintaining, enhancing, and promoting the distinctive mission of Providence College as a Catholic and Dominican college.

Believing that we are called to be transformed so that we may transform society, the Center serves as a place of intellectual exploration and dialogue where students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni can gather for study, discussion, reflection, and service.

Through a variety of events and educational opportunities for the College community, the Center strives to share the richness and diversity of the Catholic and Dominican intellectual and spiritual traditions as they offer crucial perspectives for today’s challenges and concerns and invite us together to partake of and benefit from a common mission inspired by faith and enabled by grace.

Safety and Security

The Office of Safety and Security operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round. The principal objective of the office is to safeguard members of the College community and to protect private and institutional property on campus. As a service organization, the Security Department attempts to contribute to the smooth functioning of College community life by stressing the importance of crime prevention, the individual’s obligation to take necessary precautions, the cooperation of each member of the College community to safeguard personal and college property, and the care that must be taken to comply with fire regulations. The Annual Campus Security Report is available through the security office.

Lost and Found

The Providence College Office of Safety and Security maintains a “Lost and Found.”  Students can check for lost items or turn in something they have found at the office. The Information Desk in the Slavin Center also maintains a “Lost and Found.” Additionally, items may be left in the School of Continuing Education office. For further information, please call 401.865.2391.

Policy on Drug-Free Campus

Providence College, in compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989, has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees of the College which includes enforcement of policies and standards of conduct with respect to behavior on College property, and behavior at any College-sponsored events.