We have learned many lessons, but one major takeaway is that improving postsecondary access for rural students will require many partners. There’s a scarcity of credible information and limited access/connectivity to online resources. To alleviate some of those deficits, RSSI has helped mobilized other community partners to join in the effort. Our goal is to broaden postsecondary access for underserved students from remote regions in the state and equip them and their families with the information they need to make an informed decision about postsecondary options. – Dr. Maria Luna-Torres, Project Director, Rural Student Success Initiative
Purpose: The Rural Student Success Initiative (“RSSI”) is a large-scale demonstration project of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service that seeks to increase the number of students from rural Texas communities enrolling in and completing a postsecondary certificate or degree program. RSSI leverages the local credibility of AgriLife Extension’s place-based county agents to facilitate partnerships with rural school districts to help improve the non-academic supports students and their families need to foster a college-going culture. See figure below to learn more about RSSI’s participating districts.
Services Provided: Provide technical assistance to school districts, conduct college advising workshops, facilitate convenings of education stakeholders through local advisory board meetings, design data collection instruments to inform programming needs, co-design customized workshops for county extension agents, co-develop text messaging college awareness/advising campaigns
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