(401) 762-3841 riral@riral.org


Our Mission

Rhode Island Regional Adult Learning is a non-profit adult education agency, established in 1979, serving adults across RI.  RIRAL is designated by the Rhode Island Department of Education as a regional learning center. RIRAL’s mission is to provide high-quality education, support services, and access to employment and training to out-of-school youth and adults, so they may achieve success in their careeers, participate fully in their communities, and contribute to the state’s economic development and the region’s workforce.

RIRAL’s founders, Henry Tarlian and Arthur Mossberg


With passage of the Economic Opportunity Act in 1964, adult basic education (ABE) legislation set the stage for the Federal Government’s initiative in addressing adult illiteracy in the United States. Under provisions of the Education Amendments of 1978 adult basic and secondary-level education programs were established in every state.

Funds were available to state and local education agencies to meet costs of instruction, employ and train qualified adult educators, and develop specialized curricula and techniques appropriate for adult learners. The 1978 amendments mandated states to conduct vigorous programs of outreach for those most in need of instruction in basic skills; help these potential students by providing supports such as flexible schedules.

The statute itself listed that representatives of business and industry, labor unions, public and private educational agencies and institutions, churches, fraternal and voluntary organizations, community organizations, state and local manpower and training agencies, as well as special adult populations, were to be involved in development of the plan and were to continue to be involved in carrying out the plan. It also included residents of rural areas, residents of urban areas with high rates of unemployment, adults with limited English language skills, as required to be involved in developing the plan and carrying it out.

It was during that time that RIRAL’s founders, Henry Tarlian and Arthur Mossberg, identified a great need for adult education services in Northern Rhode Island. Mentor, Inc dba Rhode Island Regional Adult Learning was founded. Our journey began in Lincoln, Burrillville, Gloucester, and North Smithfield. Since that time, RIRAL has grown to what it is now one of the largest and long-standing adult education institutions in the state.


RIRAL currently provides comprehensive assessment, academic instruction, counseling and training services to adults in Rhode Island. RIRAL provides instruction in English language, reading, writing, math and technology, as well as college/career transitions. Students come to RIRAL to learn what they need in order to achieve longer term goals, such as obtaining a high school credential, finding or retaining employment, or going into occupational training or college. Students can select a learning opportunity that best fits their needs such as a classroom environment, learning resource center, or distance learning.

Counseling and training is conducted through RIRAL’s Transition Services. The role of Transition Services is to support the student experience in adult education and assist with the transition to college and careers. From admissions to program completion, Transition Services staff supports students through case management, life skills training, referrals, and individualized career planning and advising.

We offer academic, vocational, family needs and employability assessments as well as the GED and National External Diploma Program (NEDP). RIRAL’s Woonsocket Test Center, a Pearson Vue® Authorized Test Center, is located at our main office in Woonsocket and coordinates the NEDP assessment statewide.

We continue to be proud of the dedication, care, and professionalism of our teachers, and the persistence, determination, and success of our students.

Non-Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of this program not to discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, color, or disability in its educational program, activities, and employment practices in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. 

A Special Notice for our SNAP Employment and Training participants:

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online by clicking here, from any USDA office, by calling (833) 620-1071, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to:

  1. mail:
    Food and Nutrition Service, USDA
    1320 Braddock Place, Room 334
    Alexandria, VA 22314; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.