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Rural Realities

Education, workforce and progress

People are growing more skeptical about the value of higher education. More rural residents are graduating from high school, but people in those communities remain less likely than their suburban and urban peers to continue their education.

This five-part series from the Rural News Network, made possible with support from Ascendium, explores how institutions and students are meeting their educational needs and the demands of today’s rural workforce.

In Far Northern California, Educators Encourage Post-Secondary Education Amidst Critical Workforce Gaps
Shasta Scout December 8, 2023

Rebuilding Shasta County’s workforce will increase the quality of life for this generation, and those to come. But filling workforce gaps will require educators to overcome economic, informational, social and logistical barriers.

Oklahoma institutions offer bilingual services to boost workforce
KOSU December 7, 2023

The state’s Hispanic population and workforce have grown, requiring more programs to ensure job readiness.

These rural Texans opted out of a degree. The community college down the street wants them back.
The Texas Tribune December 7, 2023

To survive, Texas community colleges have to prove their worth. But residents of this rural north Texas town are questioning what’s right for them.

Community colleges are helping with housing, gas and food to keep students in class
Cardinal News December 5, 2023

Free tuition programs might entice students to enroll in community college, but they don’t cover gas or child care, or put food on the table.

In this shrinking Mississippi Delta county, getting a college degree means leaving home behind
Mississippi Today December 4, 2023

Inside Issaquena County, Mississippi, where just 42 adult residents have at least a bachelor’s degree.

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