(401) 941-8353

R.I. Transition Academy

About the R.I. Transition Academy

Founded in September 2002, the R.I. Transition Academy (RITA) is the longest running transition program in Rhode Island.

RITA is a program for 18-22 year-olds who have IEPs, located on the campus of a Rhode Island local college. This program is geared toward individuals who have completed the academic courses necessary for graduation but would benefit from an additional year to acquire employment skills, functional life skills and social skills to better prepare for adult life. The R.I. Transition Academy provides students with classroom and community instruction in an adult learning environment.

Each student will participate in a minimum of three unpaid internships for up to 6-week periods in areas of interest to them based on assessments and interests. RITA participates with a wide variety of local business partners located throughout the state. While at the job sites students will gain the career skills and confidence to be able to obtain a job with minimal supports and develop an understanding of their own skills, interests, and related jobs.

At RITA, students explore monthly “themes” related to the big picture of working and living independently. Each month, students will research jobs and community resources, tour a variety of local businesses, meet with hiring managers, and participate in informational interviews.

Our Students

We help young adults who:

  • Are 18-22 years old, have an IEP and are currently enrolled in school
  • Are eligible for services from the R.I. Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS)
  • Require additional time to achieve transition goals to complete their high school requirements
  • Are motivated to attend and fully participate in program activities
  • Can follow the rules and expectations of a community college setting

Monthly Focus

Each month, we focus on a specific area that will help young adults in our program grow. General themes are:

  • Self-discovery
  • Food and nutrition
  • Personal finance
  • Living situations
  • Personal and professional relationships
  • Health and wellness
  • Being part of a community
  • Transportation


“As an alumni of the Rhode Island Transition Academy, I had a very positive experience with the Rhode Island Transition Academy. The transition academy helped me to develop appropriate and necessary living, professional, and social skills and helped me develop a sense of what direction I wanted to take my life in. Through West Bay I made so many new friends and developed strong professional connections that helped me grow into the young lady I am today. I highly recommend it for students with disabilities who are either unsure of what to do after high school or those who may know but would like to practice and strengthen their necessary skills. I have so much gratitude towards West Bay Collaborative for helping me find my way!”

Kelly Donovan, Peer Specialist
Transition Academy Alumni

What students learn
at the Transition Academy

 At RITA, students will:

  • Gain the employment skills and confidence to obtain or retain a job with minimal or time limited supports
  • Acquire the functional and daily living skills necessary to reach their potential independence
  • Explore opportunities in higher education and credentialing training programs
  • Reinforce and improve functional academic skills to be better prepared for the workplace or post secondary education and training programs
  • Develop the social skills and self-confidence to find success with interpersonal relationships at work and at home and in their community
  • Develop confidence, self-advocacy, and self-awareness to understand the rights and responsibilities of adulthood, knowledge of themselves, and the ability to seek assistance if needed

Rhode Island Transition Academy
Application Process

Step 1. IEP Team (student, parent, school personnel, ORS Counselor and others) determine need for continued services and recommend applying to the RITA program

Step 2. Application packet is completed and mailed from the sending district special education office

Step 3. Students are observed and interviewed by RITA program personnel

Step 4. Notification is given to the IEP team regarding the student’s eligibility into the program

Brochures and Other Forms

RITA Brochure

Student Events

  • Pasta Dinner
  • End of year trip
  • And more

Upcoming Open Houses

There are no events currently scheduled

R.I. Transition Academy Contact

Therese Curran
Director of Transition and Vocational Services
Phone: (401) 941-8353 (Ext. 124)
Email me

Main Office
Transition & Vocational Services
Professional Development

144 Bignall Street
Warwick, RI 02888

Phone: (401) 941-8353
Fax: (401) 941-8535

Hours: Monday - Friday
9:00am - 4:30pm

Alternative Learning Program
Grades K-6

1196 Park Avenue
Cranston, RI 02910

Phone: (401) 270-8588
Fax: (401) 270-8429

Hours: Monday-Friday
9:00am - 3:00pm;
9:00am - 12:45pm 

Alternative Learning Program
Grades 6-12

51 Draper Avenue
Warwick, RI 02889

Phone: (401) 734-3440
Fax: (401) 734-3443

Hours: Monday-Friday
8:00am - 2:00pm;
8:00am - 12:00pm