Preparing them to Stay: Rural Brain Drain and Appalachian Low-income, First-generation college students

Rural brain drain in Appalachia is not a new phenomenon. The question that is posed as part of this dissertation research is: Are schools and college access programs preparing rural Appalachian students to stay in the region or are they preparing those who are seeking higher education to pursue a life elsewhere instead of contributing to their hometowns in the form of human and economic capital? As well as, what cultural factors play into student's decisions to stay or leave the region? This presentation will include findings from a research study done on the experience of rural Appalachian Trio students as well as insight from a participant in the study on her experience with choosing to stay or leave the region after obtaining a college degree.