Reaching Adult Learners Located in Rural and Remote Areas through Community College Branch Campuses in Texas

Date

December 2023

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Abstract

Due to the need for more qualified and credentialed employees, Texas introduced a new funding model that encourages community colleges to seek new ways to provide the local workforce with credentials of value (McGee, 2022, McGee, 2023). Community colleges are being asked to expand their educational focus to include all working-age adults, often called nontraditional students or adult learners. Through a strategic plan, community colleges may use their branch campuses in rural and remote areas to meet the challenge of educating adult learners proposed in the new funding model. This qualitative research used narrative inquiry described by Connelly and Clandinin (2006) and thematic analysis methodologies and approaches recommended by Braun and Clarke (2023) to identify ways community college branch campuses might recruit, educate, and provide credentials of value to adult learners in rural and remote areas, to meet the growing needs of the expanding Texas workforce outlined in the 2023 higher education funding model. This study identified barriers and aligned various ways by which branch campuses might effectively serve adult and nontraditional students in rural areas.

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Keywords

Education, Branch Campuses, Education, Community College, Education, Rural, Education, non traditional students

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