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Small-Town America: Raising and Educating Successful Students

A team of OSU faculty and graduate students recently shared their research on raising kids in rural areas with practical suggestions on what parents, teachers, and school administrators can do to help them succeed in school, and in life.  They address the complex issues of diversity in rural areas, how the rural poor are excluded, and how stigmas arise from social, class, and ethnic differences and impact children’s upbringing.

The four articles are featured on education.com, a respected website that features addresses the challenges of raising children. http://www.education.com/topic/diversity-in-education/

Creating Inclusive Classroom and Communities for Rural Poor
Associate Professor Katherine MacTavish

The Long Road to College from Rural America
Devora Shamah, Graduate Student

Caught in the Middle: Raising a Multicultural Teen in a Rural Place
Associate Professor Samuel Vuchnich with Christine Mouzong, Graduate Student

Coming of Age in Rural America
Brooke Dolenc, Graduate Student, with Professor Richard Settersten

Rick Settersten, a well-known expert on the study of life transitions says “The contradictions of rural and small-town life are acutely felt by youth.  To get ahead, young people know they must leave, and parents and the community must release them. And yet the survival of those towns, threatened by the exodus of young people, rests on the promise – or hope – that those young people will one day return to rejuvenate the community with new-found skills and credentials. The tension between leaving and staying is not easy to reconcile. Leaving is difficult, especially if it means that youth must relinquish their ties to the land and the people on whom they rely and who rely upon them. Those who go far away may feel a sense of abandonment and guilt. And almost certainly, the new worlds they must confront are strange and unknown. But staying put poses a different set of risks – it may bring safety and comfort, but it is also likely to foreclose one’s future.”