Challenges and Opportunities Facing Rural Community

Rural Community Colleges
Randy Smith, Ph.D.
President, Rural Community College Alliance
Altus, Oklahoma
Thank You
• Thank You to RCCA Sponsor and breakfast
sponsor, American Public University System
– Community College Outreach
– Academic Programs
– Cost of Attendance
– Simple MOU
– Quality program, Great people to deal with
– RCCA Partner
– Contact them
• 60% of community colleges are rural serving
• Rurals enroll 36% of student population
Urbans 64%
• Rurals serve more first time first generation
students than urban and suburbans
• Rurals serve higher percentage of minority
students than urban and suburban colleges
Who are we?
134 Rural Serving Small
310 Rural Serving Medium
144 Rural Serving Large
36 Tribal Colleges
Rural Demographics
• Socio-economic status of rural communities
– Typically poorer
– Less access to healthcare
– Lack of growth/poor economy/low paying jobs
– Decreasing number of high school graduates
– Population / size Matters!!
• What is the most important challenge/factor
facing the rural community college?
Can the Employees answer:
• What is our value?
• Why is our college unique?
• What is the quality of our academic
• Cost of our college and cost of other colleges
in the region?
Faculty and administrative retirements
Attracting faculty to teach at a rural college
Crumbling or dated physical plant / facilities
Declining population, lack of economic and
workforce development
• Fewer High School Graduates
• Finances (expect more with less)
• Inability to keep up with technology trends
• What do two year colleges typically do better
than other institutions of higher education?
• 1. INSTRUCTION. We are student centered
and focused
• 2. Ability to change and adapt quickly
The Alliance
• Anything to help and assist rural colleges to be
more effective in serving students,
communities and stakeholders
• Clearing house of information
• Federal Policy advocacy
• Annual Conference
• Annual DC day, White House visit
The Alliance
• Connect ‘like” colleges to each other – get
them to communicate!
• Frequent member calls (student services,
athletics, Ag, international, economic
development, etc)
• New Legislation in Farm Bill
The Alliance
• Research
– Rural Scholars panel
– Three State Pell Study
– Kansas Pell Study
– Demographics Studies
– New college district in Pennsylvania study /
The Impact of the New Pell Grant
Restrictions on Community Colleges:
A Three State Study
Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi
Congressional Briefing
Stephen G. Katsinas, Director and Professor,
Education Policy Center, The University of Alabama
Janice Nahra Friedel, Associate Professor, Iowa State University
James E. Davis, Associate Professor, Stennis Institute, Mississippi State University
Michael T. Miller, University of Arkansas
124 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC
February 12, 2013
THANKS for the
The Alliance
In-Service Presentations
Leadership training for Deans, VPs etc
Board of Trustees Training
Enrollment Management Training
(recruitment and retention of students)
• Strategic Planning Facilitation
Rural Colleges……
Do more with less……
Are tied into their communities big time
Operate in a unique way.
Tied into workforce and economic
• Participate with the community in numerous
ways……as are the employees
Rural Colleges
Is this you?
We Need You!!
• Share, interact and communicate with rural
serving colleagues nationwide!
• Share challenges and opportunities
• Become involved in YOUR organization
• We need you and you need us!
• Cost is only $595 a year, for the institution
Thank you for your participation,
time and attention!
• [email protected]
• 580-481-0249
• Thank you to our sponsor
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