ERIC Number: ED387295
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Growing Up in Rural Illinois. Illinois Rural Youth Survey Summary Report.
Most Americans view small towns and rural areas as ideal places to grow up and raise a family, yet 1990 census data reveal that most rural areas are losing population, particularly the young. Teenagers who live in rural communities are likely to have important insights into this contradiction. Approximately 5,600 students attending 114 rural high schools in Illinois completed a questionnaire about their community, school, and plans for the future. Questions covered such areas as advantages and disadvantages of the rural community, community problems, quality of local high school education, postsecondary plans, availability and popularity of vocational courses, participation in extracurricular activities, plans to stay in or leave the community, career aspirations, interest in self-employment and entrepreneurship, and teens' monthly spending habits. While young people were not immune to the charms of small communities, many planned to leave because they perceived a lack of well-paying jobs. Even though good jobs are more difficult to find in rural areas than they were 10 years ago, the decline in employment opportunities has not been steep enough to justify the degree of pessimism exhibited by most rural teens. First and foremost, the quality of rural educational systems must be maintained or improved. In addition, teens must be made aware of the local job opportunities that do exist; in attracting jobs, rural community leaders must recognize the types of jobs that appeal to the young and better educated; and local schools should offer courses in how to start and run one's own business. Communities that maintain a high-quality telecommunications network will find themselves at a distinct advantage to attract higher-paying service companies. Finally, the superior quality of family life rural communities can offer may tip the scales in their favor. (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Western Illinois Univ., Macomb. Illinois Inst. for Rural Affairs.
Identifiers - Location: Illinois