ERIC Number: ED422038
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Reference Count: N/A
Rural Community College Initiative: I. Access: Removing Barriers to Participation. AACC Project Brief.
Eller, Ronald; Martinez, Ruben; Pace, Cynthia; Pavel, Michael; Garza, Hector; Barnett, Lynn
The Rural Community College Initiative (RCCI) is a decade-long commitment by the Ford Foundation to community colleges in distressed rural areas of the United States. Through RCCI, the Foundation channels both funds and technical assistance to targeted community colleges to improve access and foster economic development. The RCCI approach includes redefining a college's concept of "access." Faced with out-migration and stagnant or declining economies, rural communities need planned, targeted outreach. By removing barriers to participation in higher education despite financial and other challenges--and by creating a new awareness of opportunities--rural community colleges may become effective catalysts for community revitalization. Provided in the article are four strategies of effective local practices, including partnerships for transition, alternative delivery systems, academic support services, and holistic approaches to access. Topics of challenge discussed are institutional culture, financial resources, welfare reform, gender, and racial dynamics. The brief concludes that improving economic opportunities for minority populations in rural distressed areas requires colleges and communities to reexamine traditional assumptions about access to higher education. The challenges of geography, culture, poverty, and history of rural places suggest that accepted open admissions strategies and enrollment-driven programming are frequently insufficient to meet the needs of these communities in the 21st century. (Contains 14 references) (AS)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: American Association of Community Colleges, Washington, DC.