ARRC is a research collaborative and resource hub with the mission of increasing appreciation for and understanding of regional colleges and their contributions to opportunity and community wellbeing.
Despite their crucial role in expanding equity across P-20 education, foundational knowledge is lacking about how to identify and define RPUs, and there is no official list of RPUs. As a result, sector-wide quantitative data and research are nonexistent, and RPUs and their students remain largely invisible in important policy and scholarly discussions. With the support of the Spencer Foundation, this study will be the first to empirically identify, define, and examine the entire RPU sector and its students, and build a data infrastructure to support future inquiry into these vital institutions.
There is limited research on rural-serving postsecondary institutions. However, these institutions are essential to the educational opportunities of rural students and the vitality of rural communities. One barrier to research is the absence of an evidence-based definition of what it means to be a “rural-serving institution.” This project will develop a definition for rural-serving institutions and a range of publicly available data products and tools to promote research about these critical institutions.
This policy report highlights the importance of public colleges in rural communities, while also demonstrating how COVID-19 threatens their contributions unless policymakers act swiftly to support them. We examined a group of 118 rural public colleges throughout the United States that fulfill their anchor institution role by fostering access to college, supporting local economies, addressing critical workforce shortages, and contributing to public health infrastructure.
U.S. News and World Report has really capitalized on the fact that a lot of people, either they don't have the time or they don't really have the interest to go that deep. And so they're going to trust something like newspapers and World Report, which they think saves them time.
Some are leaving the field or not taking vacant positions. Others are moving between institutions. For supervisors, "that in and of itself is the same problem" as people leaving the field altogether, because it's still turnover.