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Associate professor quoted on educational equity for rural students of color

Lauren Leathers

December 11, 2019

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Rolling pastures, twisting roads and rows of fresh produce first come to mind when thinking of Georgia’s rural areas. Less recognized is the lack of educational access and recruitment available to rural students, specifically to those of color.

Darris Means

On Nov. 14-16, the 44th annual conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) in Portland, Oregon, called upon scholars, grant makers and policy leaders to discuss research surrounding a theme of “The Will to Reimagine the Study of Higher Education.”

Darris R. Means, an associate professor in the department of counseling and human development services at the University of Georgia’s College of Education, presented his research on rural students of color and educational equity in a breakout session at the conference. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education covered Means’ session, in which he explains that “in order to understand rural communities, a focus needs to be paid to systems and structures in order to impact long lasting change.”

In 2016, the rural population in Georgia was reported at more than 46%—nearly half of the state. Means' research seeks to engage with the community around critical issues like college access challenges.