An Innovative Fix for Rural Higher Education Deserts
Anne Kim, Washington Monthly
Geography is a barrier to higher education for tens of millions of rural Americans. A few states, however, are pioneering a leaner, cheaper approach that relies on technology to create oases of learning in higher education deserts.
Called “higher education centers” or “virtual colleges,” these innovative institutions provide physical infrastructure for existing colleges and universities to offer online and in-person instruction in places where no brick-and-mortar higher education institutions exist. In some areas, they also offer occupational training in line with the needs of local businesses and act as pop-up satellite campuses, community colleges, and training agencies rolled into one.