Supporting Rural Students & Improving Community College Outcomes

University Students Walking In Campus

October 12, 2018 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. Media coverage focuses on supporting high-achieving rural students through the provision of advanced courses and pipelines to higher education. Also, read about addressing high student-to-adviser ratios and other promising practices for community colleges.

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High-achieving high school seniors can now apply for the Cooke College Scholarship Program and the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is accepting applications from community college students preparing to transfer to a four-year institution. Both programs provide up to $40,000 per year, as well as ongoing advising and access to the thriving Cooke Scholar community.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • “Students who attend majority high-poverty schools are less likely to go to college and more likely to drop out of high school. … Contrast that with racially and socioeconomically integrated schools, where research has found smaller achievement gaps,” states Michele Shannon in Education Week. Shannon’s commentary provides research-based strategies for district leaders to make schools more equitable.
  • Duke TIP‘s research staff report that academically advanced students in rural areas often do not have access to gifted programs.


Higher Education:

  • Improving community college completion rates starts with addressing structural and motivational barriers, according to a new report from The Brookings Institution. High student-to-adviser ratios are one of these challenges. The Oklahoman’s NewsOK describes how four years ago, the student-to-adviser ratio at Tulsa Community College was 1,044-to-1. Through institutional vision and community support, TCC established a 350-to-1 ratio that is already demonstrating improved outcomes.
  • MarketWatch explores the landscape of tuition-free college promise programs.
  • How can colleges and universities better connect with rural committees? Inside Higher Ed summarizes admissions and recruiting insights from a panel at the annual meeting of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • College Greenlight highlights the Cooke College Scholarship Program in its list of generous scholarships for prospective college students.
  • Vinny Wagner is a 2018 recipient of the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. Read our blog to learn about how this community college graduate took a childhood interest in STEM all the way to Princeton University, where he now studies biophysics and computational biology.
  • The Associated Press reports on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s recent visit to an Advanced Placement physics class provided through the Global Teaching Project, an initiative that connects students in rural Mississippi with advanced coursework. The Cooke Foundation has committed $200,000 to the Global Teaching Project’s Mississippi Public School Consortium for Educational Access.


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