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Rural Matters

Aug 3, 2021

Michelle chats with Dr. Andrew Koricich, associate professor of higher education at Appalachian State University and Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges (ARRC’s) executive director; Dr. Kevin McClure, associate professor of higher education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and ARRC’s director of communications; and Dr. Alisa Hicklin Fryar, professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma and ARRC’s director of data. The episode focuses on ARRC’s fabulous first report, released in January 2021, Strengthening Rural Anchor Institutions: Federal Policy Solutions for Rural Public Colleges and the Communities They Serve.  Koricich discusses why ARRC was established and the support it receives from the Joyce Foundation. He also notes how rural colleges conduct considerable allied health training, especially during the pandemic. AARC focuses on “underdog” higher education institutions, explains McClure. These institutions, he adds, are invested in their communities and provide valuable civic support. Rural higher education institutions have become one-stop shops for community needs, providing bachelor’s degrees, associate’s degrees, certificates, job training and placement, and community support, such as art programs, notes Fryar. The conversation concludes with the panel discussing policy solutions in various areas, including infrastructure, teacher training, loan forgiveness, and establishing a rural-serving institution designation. This episode is sponsored by the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges,