A New Initiative Supports Rural Community Colleges

Rural students were poised to struggle amid COVID-19.

The Federal Communications Commission found that a quarter of Americans – 14.5 million people – in rural areas lack broadband Internet access. Pre-pandemic, rural completion rates were already low with only 42% of students from rural high schools graduating college within six years, according to a 2018 National Student Clearinghouse Research Center study.

That’s why Education Design Lab, a nonprofit for innovation in higher education, will focus on supporting rural community colleges in its new initiative, called “Building Rural Innovation, Designing Educational Strategies” or “BRIDGES.”

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