ERIC Number: ED336240
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Why Should and How Can Universities Become Involved in Rural Communities?
By legislative edict, Eastern Oregon State College serves Oregon's 10 eastern counties, an area of over 42,000 square miles with fewer than four people per square mile. This service area is typical of much of the western United States. The economies of such rural areas are becoming more diversified, but will be unable to realize their potential without the expertise and services available through a service-oriented university. In the face of declining numbers of traditional college students, colleges and universities must re-prioritize their resources to better serve nontraditional students. Universities must deliver comprehensive educational and public service expertise to rural areas in the way that agriculture has been served by the agricultural extension service. Higher education in rural areas suffers from several general problems: (1) legislative encouragement of inappropriate urban models; (2) insufficient rural leadership; (3) poor understanding of today's rural America by legislators; and (4) lack of vision and innovative solutions. To address these problems, Eastern Oregon State College has developed a service delivery model based on the mission of providing specific educational programs and services to meet identified needs of the region. Service delivery components include a redefined main campus, a division to serve off-campus educational needs, a unit to service public service needs, and seven regional centers with local advisory boards that identify local educational needs. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Eastern Oregon State College
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference on Rural Adult Education Initiatives (1991).