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.
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.
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.
“[Muscling a company to hold up its end of the bargain takes energy and resources] and does illustrate a major source of conflict that can arise in public-private partnerships. At the end of the day, that private entity is going to do what it thinks is necessary to maximize profit.”
Regional colleges have difficulty supporting and graduating students, especially those from low-income families, due to the diminished state budgets. Too many people have become 'comfortable with broken promises for Coloradans.'