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ERIC Number: ED522847
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 274
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-8550-4
Into Another Kind of Country: The College Matriculation of Youth from Rural Areas
Tucker, Sarah Armstrong
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan
Youth from rural areas are consistently under-represented in 4-year college institutions. This is particularly true for those whose parents did not go to college. Historically, a high school degree was sufficient for employment in rural communities. However, as blue-collar jobs continue to disappear, lesser educated residents are increasingly unemployed. Going to college provides youth from rural areas the opportunity to secure an occupation. Unfortunately, many lack access to the types of social capital that are beneficial in the matriculation process, including access to: kin who have gone to college, advanced coursework, and non-kin who can advise students about college matriculation. Moreover, some of these youth come from rural communities that view the procurement of higher education as a threat to the stability of the community. In the absence of a 4-year college existing in the rural area, matriculation necessarily means that a student will have to move away from his community. Thus, in the interest of maintaining their populations, some communities are reluctant to encourage students to matriculate. In spite of these obstacles, some students from rural areas do go to college. The purpose of this study was to understand how these youth, particularly those with less-educated parents, were able to matriculate. Thus, I embarked on a mixed-methods analysis of the matriculation patterns of youth and schools from rural areas. I focused on a sub-sample of these students, those who attended elite colleges; because I believed their experiences were exemplary. I arrived at several key findings, all in consideration of first-generation college-goers from rural areas. Positive relationships with teachers and positive school social organizations improved the likelihood students would matriculate. Having individuals who provided information about college was important for first-generation rural who attended an elite college. Further, extracurricular participation increased the chance of matriculation when it exposed students to 4-year college campuses and/or provided them with a chance to be successful outside of their communities. The interpretation of my analyses led me to conclude having social network members, who shared information about, or modeled behaviors consistent with college-matriculation, helped to overcome barriers in rural students' paths to higher education. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A