Presentation on theme: "More Than Meets The Eye: Ensuring Postsecondary Educational Opportunity for an Increasingly Diverse Rural America Andrew Koricich, Ph.D. Assistant Professor."— Presentation transcript:
More Than Meets The Eye: Ensuring Postsecondary Educational Opportunity for an Increasingly Diverse Rural America Andrew Koricich, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Higher Education Texas Tech University NSPA 2014 Annual Conference October 16, 2014
PRESENTATION OVERVIEW The Current State of Rural America Rural Diversity People Communities Postsecondary Access & Choice Challenges for Rural Residents Opportunities for Improvement Discussion/Q&A
BEFORE WE BEGIN… How many people here this week work at a rural institution? How many grew up in a rural community? How many people attended college in a rural town? How many have family or close friends who live or work in a rural community?
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE The Current State of Rural America
THE CURRENT STATE OF RURAL AMERICA As of 2010, approximately 60 million Americans live in rural communities. Change in U.S. Rural Population, 1980–2010 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census.gov
THE CURRENT STATE OF RURAL AMERICA Three-quarters of U.S. counties are classified as non- metropolitan.
THE CURRENT STATE OF RURAL AMERICA Contrary to popular belief, rural America is not overwhelmingly white. American Indian reservations, border states, Deep South Immigration patterns Rural residents experience higher poverty rates than those living in cities and suburbs More than just an individual problem Relationship to local economic changes
THE CURRENT STATE OF RURAL AMERICA Non-metropolitan counties have experienced greater population loss over the last few decades Youth outmigration (“brain drain”) Scarcity of critical skills and knowledge Some rural algebra: High Poverty + Decreasing Population = Shrinking Tax Base Shrinking Tax Base + High Need for Services = Program Cuts
THE CURRENT STATE OF RURAL AMERICA On the bright side… Exceptional cultivation of talented youth Growing economic opportunities in emerging industries Sustainable agriculture Renewable energy Tourism & recreation Increased connectivity though broadband expansion efforts Opportunities in education Opportunities in E-Commerce
RURAL DIVERSITY Rural diversity can be thought of in two ways: Rural places as home to diverse individuals and groups, each with corresponding characteristics and challenges Seeing “rural” as a heterogeneous category made up of distinctly, and substantively, different communities, each with characteristics that impact the lives of residents
RURAL DIVERSITY Military Enlistees First- Generation Low- Income Racial Minorities Immigrants Adult Learners RURAL AMERICA
RURAL DIVERSITY Minorities and Immigrants Rural places have always been home to racial minorities Southern slavery resulted in high concentrations of black residents in rural parts of the region. American Indian reservations throughout the Southwest are predominantly located in rural areas. California’s agriculture industry relies upon Hispanic and Asian laborers Immigration patterns have influenced the racial composition of rural communities across the country Hmong refugees began arriving on the West Coast in the 1970s During the 1990s, communities across Iowa experienced an influx of refugees from Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, and Sudan. The Midwest has seen a dramatic increases in the Latino population over the last few decades
RURAL DIVERSITY Low-income and First-generation For decades, rural places have exhibited lower education levels among residents when compared to urban and suburban communities, as well as the national average. Effect of geographic isolation Connection between education and local employment opportunities Relationship between poverty and educational access/attainment Because rural places tend to have fewer residents with college degrees, college students from rural communities are more likely to be first-generation college students.
RURAL DIVERSITY Student Veterans Recent military conflicts and new G.I. Bill have dramatically increased the number of combat veterans on college campuses. Cultural differences, experience, and age Physical and mental health concerns These students often choose institutions near military bases, as well as community colleges when using education benefits.
RURAL DIVERSITY Adult Learners For some time, the number of adult students has been increasing on campuses across the country. As with student veterans, the age and experience gap of adult students can present some challenges. Balancing work, family, and school responsibilities With the growing availability of broadband Internet connections in rural communities, online education options will become increasingly viable for these residents.
RURAL DIVERSITY “Rural” as a Heterogeneous Category In research, policy, and everyday life, rural communities are treated as a monolithic group. Agricultural interests can dominate policymaking, despite comprising a decreasing share of national and rural employment. Accordingly, the vast complexities of rural life are overlooked or ignored. “America today has many rural Americas.” (Lichter & Brown, 2011, p. 568)
RURAL DIVERSITY When we treat “rural” as a singular group, we miss important variations in rural places:
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE Postsecondary Access & Choice Challenges for Rural Residents
POSTSECONDARY ACCESS & CHOICE CHALLENGES Students from non-metropolitan counties are only 80% as likely to enroll in any postsecondary education within 2 years of completing high school Students from these communities are considerably more likely to choose a two-year college over a four-year institution Best option vs. only option quandary More likely to attend public institutions at both levels
POSTSECONDARY ACCESS & CHOICE CHALLENGES Students from non-metro counties also less likely to choose selective institutions In these places, persistent child poverty (20+ years) has a startling detrimental effect on postsecondary enrollment and significantly alter choice patterns. Local industry and employment opportunities influence college access and choice Connections between education and employment are crucial
POSTSECONDARY ACCESS & CHOICE CHALLENGES Distance from postsecondary institutions (predictably) influences access and choice Without choice, do we truly have access? Rural residents are more likely to live in a county with no postsecondary institution compared to urban and suburban residents. Opportunities in online education, but this is not for everyone and comes with corresponding obstacles
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE Opportunities for Improvement
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT “Place Not Race” Shift efforts to diversity campuses and increase opportunity to see where a student comes from, as opposed to race alone. As diverse places, rural communities are a rich source of underrepresented and non-traditional college students. Design outreach and institutional aid efforts accordingly Can aid a broad spectrum of populations in need This re-thinking should permeate recruitment/outreach, institutional aid provision, and academic research.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT Administrators and Institutions Understand the rural populations specific to your state/region Review institutional aid programs Support programs Retention is more cost-effective than attrition!
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT Policymakers Understand who comprises rural America Understand the effects of policy changes on vulnerable populations Expand Pell Grants and other low-income grant aid Re-examine PLUS loan eligibility changes Develop creative ways to fund rural students while connecting education to employment opportunities in rural communities
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT Researchers Conduct more research on rural populations and postsecondary education Account for diversity within the “rural” category Provide robust research on financial aid changes and their impact on rural populations and the various sub-populations that reside in these communities
More Than Meets The Eye: Ensuring Postsecondary Educational Opportunity for an Increasingly Diverse Rural America Andrew Koricich, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Higher Education Texas Tech University firstname.lastname@example.org NSPA 2014 Annual Conference October 16, 2014
SELECTED REFERENCES Adelman, C. (2002). The relationship between urbanicity and educational outcomes. In W. Tierney & L. S. Hagedorn (Eds.), Increasing access to college: Extending possibilities for all students. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press Brown, D. L., & Schafft, K. A. (2011). Rural people & communities in the 21st Century: Resilience & transformation. Malden, MA: Polity Press. Byun, S., Meece, J. L., & Irvin, M. J. (2011). Rural-Nonrural Disparities in Postsecondary Educational Attainment Revisited. American Educational Research Journal, 49(3), 412–437. doi:10.3102/0002831211416344 Carnevale, A. P., Smith, N., Strohl, J. (2010). Help wanted: Projections of jobs and education requirements through 2018. Retrieved from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce website: http://cew.georgetown.edu/jobs2018 Carr, P., & Kefalas, M. (2009). Hollowing out the middle: The rural brain drain and what it means for America. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Cashin, S. (2014). Place not race: A new vision of opportunity in America. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Chen, X. & Koricich, A. (In press). Reaching out to remote places: A discussion of technology and the future of distance education in rural America. In E-Learn 2014 Proceedings: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. Corbett, M. (2007). Learning to Leave: The Irony of Schooling in a Coastal Community. Black Point, Nova Scotia: Fenwood Publishing. Gibbs, R. (1998). College completion and return migration among rural youth. In R. Gibbs, P. Swaim, & R. Teixeira (Eds.), Rural education and training in the new economy: The myth of the rural skills gap (1st ed., pp. 61–80). Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press. Grey, M. A. (2013). Immigrants and refugees in Iowa: Past, present, and future. Retrieved from http://iowainternationalcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/mark-greys-powerpoint2.pdf http://iowainternationalcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/mark-greys-powerpoint2.pdf Koricich, A. (2012). Seeing “rural” as a differentiated space, American Journal of Education Forum. Available at http://www.ajeforum.com/?p=316. Koricich, A. (2014, April). Bad for the gander? The effects of local economic factors on college access and choice. Research presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Philadelphia, PA.
SELECTED REFERENCES Koricich, A. (2014, April). The effects of rurality on college access and choice. Research presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Philadelphia, PA. Lichter, D. T., & Brown, D. L. (2011). Rural America in an Urban Society: Changing Spatial and Social Boundaries. Annual Review of Sociology, 37(1), 565–592. doi:10.1146/annurev-soc-081309-150208 Lutz, A. (2011). Who joins the military? A look at race, class, and immigration status. Journal of Political and Military Sociology, 36(3), 167-188. Mackun, P. & Wilson, S. (2011). Population distribution and change: 2000 to 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-01.pdf http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-01.pdf Ruman, C., Rivera, M., and Hernandez, I. (2011). Student veterans and community colleges. New Directions for Community Colleges, (155), 51-8. doi: 10.1002/cc.457 Ryan, S. W., Carlstrom, A. H., Hughey, K. F. and Harris, B. S. (2011). From boots to books: Applying Schlossberg’s model to transitioning American veterans. NACADA Journal, 31(4), 55-63 USDA-ERS. (Cartographer). (2013). Metro and nonmetro counties, 2013. Retrieved from http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1103491/metrononmetro.pnghttp://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1103491/metrononmetro.png U.S. Census Bureau. (1995, October). Urban and rural population: 1900 to 1990. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/files/urpop0090.txt U.S. Census Bureau. (2013, July 22). 2010 Census urban and rural classification and urban area criteria. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/ua/urban-rural-2010.html https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/ua/urban-rural-2010.html