Effectively Engaging First-Generation Rural Students in Higher Education: New Opportunities for Sociology

Stough-Hunter & Lekies / Teaching Sociology / May 26, 2023

diverse students studying outside

Rural and first-generation students face unique challenges to accessing and persisting through college. While there is increasing literature on how to better serve first-generation college students, rural first-generation students have received far less attention. By associating student experiences with key concepts such as social groups, social class, inequality, community, and culture, sociology is well positioned to address the needs of first-generation rural students and enhance learning for all students. In this conversation piece, the authors discuss the intersection of first-generation and rural identities and provide ideas for countering the urbancentric teaching of sociology and engaging rural first-generation students as assets at the classroom, faculty, department, and institutional levels.