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From Craftsmanship to College: RWU, IYRS Partner on Pathway Program

Students who complete programs at marine trades and technology school IYRS will be granted up to 30 credits toward bachelor’s or associate degrees offered via Continuing Studies
Photo by: Jack Renner
Students in the IYRS Boatbuilding & Restoration program are trained to restore classic wooden boats and develop craftsmanship skills that are highly valued by today’s woodworking trades.

BRISTOL, R.I. – As part of a strategy to offer students a direct pathway from experiential training programs focused on craftsmanship and technical skills to a comprehensive college education that results in an associate or bachelor’s degree, Roger Williams University and marine trades and technology school IYRS have joined forces on a partnership that will allow IYRS graduates to apply elective credits toward degree programs offered at the University’s School of Continuing Studies.

“Many of our younger students, passionate about working with their hands and building things, also want a two- or four-year degree that enriches their lives and offers broad opportunities,” says IYRS President Terry Nathan. “Partnering with Roger Williams achieves this goal. RWU is a great school with a beautiful campus. Importantly, we share common values and educational principles.”

Through the agreement, the University will award 15 credits to students who have completed the Marine Systems or Composite Technology programs at IYRS and matriculate in the bachelor of general studies, associate in arts or associate in science programs at Roger Williams. IYRS students who complete the two-year Boatbuilding & Restoration program will be granted 30 credits toward the bachelor of general studies or associate programs at RWU.

 “We place tremendous value on offering our students access to classrooms comprised of individuals who bring a wide variety of perspectives, life experiences and skill sets to their studies,” says Robert A. Cole, associate provost at Roger Williams. “Not only are we happy to offer IYRS students the chance to continue their education at RWU, but our current students will benefit greatly from the ideas offered by individuals dedicated to recapturing hands-on trade and craftsmanship skills.”

The credits will be applied toward elective requirements in both the bachelor’s and associate programs. Students who enroll in the bachelor of general studies program will be encouraged to pursue the Technology Leadership and Management concentration. In order to apply the IYRS credits, students must apply and be accepted to the University; the application fee will be waived for IYRS graduates.

For both Roger Williams University and IYRS, the intent is that the agreement to articulate academic credits serves as a foundation for more expansive engagement among the students from each school in the years ahead, particularly on projects with engineering or industrial technology components.

Individuals interested in learning more about IYRS programs and scholarship opportunities can visit, call the school’s Admissions Department at (401) 848-5777 x216 or inquire via email at Prospective students looking for additional details on the University’s continuing studies programs can call (401) 254-3530 or email

About IYRS: A leading trade school based in Rhode Island, IYRS attracts a diverse, international student body to its three programs in Boatbuilding & Restoration, Marine Systems and Composites Technology. All programs employ an education model based on a highly technical, deeply craft-oriented hands-on learning experience that is wrapped in the acquisition of important career skills, such problem-solving, teamwork, project management and critical thinking. The school focuses on the building arts and sciences across a broad range of materials, from wood to state-of-the-art composites, applicable in many industries. The Composites Technology Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. IYRS has campuses in historic Newport and Bristol.

About RWU: Roger Williams University, located in Bristol, R.I., is a leading independent, coeducational university with programs in the liberal arts and the professions, where students become community- and globally-minded citizens through project-based, experiential learning. Offering 43 majors and a plethora of co-curricular activities as well as study abroad options, RWU is dedicated to the success of students, commitment to a set of core values, the pursuit of affordable excellence and to providing a relevant, world-class education above all else. In the last decade, the University has achieved unprecedented successes including recognition as one of the best colleges in the nation by Forbes, a College of Distinction by Student Horizons, Inc. and as both a best college in the Northeast and one of the nation’s greenest universities by The Princeton Review.