Greater Texas Foundation announces a three-month planning grant in the amount of $49,136 to the Texas A&M Foundation to support the Rural Student College Access Project.
Texas has the largest population of rural K-12 students in the country. Of Texas’s 900,000 rural public school students, approximately 40 percent grow up in poverty, which is known to be a significant barrier to postsecondary access and completion. With support from Greater Texas Foundation, a consortium including Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service (Texas 4-H Youth Development), National College Access Network and College Forward is developing a proof-of-concept initiative called the Rural Student College Access Project (RSCAP) to provide direct college access services to underserved rural youth and their parents in partnership with local school districts and community-based groups.
RSCAP will pair AgriLife Extension’s unique statewide network of youth development professionals with NCAN and College Forward’s college access and completion expertise to develop and execute a suite of college access strategies appropriate for the unique needs of rural students and their families. At each project site, a team representing the consortium partners will work alongside the AgriLife Extension’s local youth development educator to conduct site visits in a cross-section of rural counties in different regions of the state. The team will use the visits to gain important insights from school district and community leaders about the current state of college access services available to their students. This local knowledge will be used to identify potential complementary services RSCAP can provide to improve postsecondary access and success outcomes for their students.
RSCAP partners anticipate local buy-in and learning from the site visits will strengthen the effectiveness of a potential implementation phase, resulting in higher levels of postsecondary access, persistence, and completion among Texas’s rural students.