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|Title: ||Campus in the Country: Community College Involvement in Rural Community Development|
|Authors: ||Rogers, Nelson Paul|
|Advisor: ||Bascia, Nina|
|Department: ||Theory and Policy Studies in Education|
|Keywords: ||community college|
|Issue Date: ||1-Mar-2011|
|Abstract: ||This study is an investigation into college involvement in rural community development through an examination of three cases in eastern, western and northern Canada where this work was reported to be going well. The inquiry revolved around what colleges do, that is, what kinds of approaches and projects are undertaken, how this work is supported or constrained, how college staff are recruited and trained for this work, and how well it is being done, or how success is defined and evaluated. The observations from these cases were compared with relevant research around the roles of community colleges, the nature of rural challenges, and the field of community development. Community development revolves around increasing the skills, knowledge, and abilities of residents, and building the ability of the community to respond to changing circumstances.
The cases in this study were in contexts of resource industries in transition, usually related to trends in economic globalization. The communities were also impacted by their distance from urban economic and political centres. As community needs were identified, it was apparent that economic and social challenges were inter-related, and that available opportunities required specialized workforce training or retraining, as well
as supports for business development. Although community development activities were not well supported by public policy and programs, the colleges were involved in a wide range of development approaches, some embedded into regular college operations, and others specifically organized for particular purposes.
Theories of forms of capital, particularly those based on the writings of Bourdieu (1986, 1993) enhance the understanding of college involvement in rural community development. College staff, particularly rural campus managers, took the lead in community work, and relied heavily on their connections and networks, or social capital, as well as “border knowledge”, or local cultural capital, to facilitate community projects. However, the reliance on local social and cultural capital was often associated with the neglect of some important groups and issues. But overall, in spite of many challenges, these colleges were key players in their communities and demonstrated the value of the diverse and flexible roles that community colleges can play.|
|Appears in Collections:||Doctoral|
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