Apr 6, 2022
In Part II of our fabulous four-part series we’re producing in collaboration with and supported by PelotonU, called Designing Postsecondary Alternatives for Rural Learners, Michelle discusses decisions rural learners have to make to pursue their educational goals and why and how rural learners choose whether to stay in their communities or leave to pursue education opportunities elsewhere, with three excellent guests: Dr. Marion Terenzio, president of the SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill; James Decker, who is serving his second term as mayor of his hometown, Stamford, Texas; and Miriam Hoffman, who is studying agribusiness economics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Terenzio says it’s important to understand that the community helps shape a university’s agenda with its learners. Her university’s initiative, based on a Thriving College, Thriving Community mindset, helps create regional economic development. The Institute for Rural Vitality at SUNY Cobleskill, with its five Centers, including its important Ag Innovation Center, is having a positive impact on this economic development, which complements the university’s community partnership goals and its superb applied learning capabilities. Decker discusses why he decided to return to his community after college and how leaders can encourage rural residents to return to their communities and help deal with rural community “brain drain.” Hoffman discusses how her college peers perceive her hometown and how it influenced her perception of the value of returning to a rural setting. This episode and the entire four-part series is sponsored by PelotonU, whose innovative and regionally accredited degree options flip the script on higher education and allow learners to fit college around their lives rather than fitting their lives around college. Learners can try it for six weeks risk-free with no money down. Visit PelotonU.org to get started.