Rural communities are not a monolith; they have unique challenges that require unique policy solutions. One of the best ways to understand the diversity of those challenges — and, in turn, identify the most effective solutions — is to hear directly from rural communities. This Special Report analyzes data from a 2020 Strada Education Network/Gallup survey on the perceptions of postsecondary education and training, focusing on the responses from rural residents specifically. In general, rural respondents answered favorably when asked about motivations for past and future education and indicated perceived value in pursuit of education and training. However, most respondents indicated they would not pursue additional education and training in the next five years, in part because of the barriers they identified — including COVID-19, costs in general, and uncertainty in career pathways.
For more insights on the Gallup/Strada survey, see this Ed Note blog post. Additionally, this Policy Brief outlines three policy considerations for developing intentional, outcomes-focused connections between postsecondary education and work.