Listen to Episode 10 of The Rural College Student Experience podcast here:

We’re back after a brief hiatus with a brand new episode! In the latest episode, we discuss college access programs serving rural and small town communities. College access organizations are integral to increasing postsecondary enrollment for historically underrepresented students, including low-income, first-generation, and students of color. Unfortunately, there are few college access programs operating in rural spaces due to geographic barriers and lack of funding for the organizations that are doing everything they can to reach these underserved populations.

One organization that has been effectively serving rural populations for the last couple of decades is CFES Brilliant Pathways. In this episode, host Dr. Matt Newlin is joined by co-host Drew Malone, a former rural student who participated in Brilliant Pathways programs while in high school in Crown Point, New York. Drew, who was very involved in music, theater, and film while in high school, graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in 2016 and now works at a museum not far from his hometown dedicated to the original Star Trek series TV series. Drew discusses his path to college, how Brilliant Pathways improved his postsecondary planning, and how rural students can explore non-traditional careers while living in rural places.

Drew and Matt are joined by guest Rick Dalton, CEO of CFES Brilliant Pathways and a passionate supporter of postsecondary success for rural students. He is also the author of the book, Rural America’s Pathways to College and Career. Rick discusses Brilliant Pathway’s beginnings, the ways they continue to serve rural students, and what colleges need to know about their rural populations. You can learn more about Brilliant Pathways on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Please be sure to subscribe to the Rural College Student Experience wherever you download your podcasts so you’ll be notified when a new episode is available. Also, follow us on Twitter (@rcsepod) and our partners Believe in Students (@believestudents).