American RadioWorks |
Image: Harvard First Generation Student Union Facebook Page.

The First Gen Movement

Over the past decade many elite colleges have taken great strides to admit low-income students, but there are unanticipated financial and cultural barriers to fitting in on campus that can’t easily be solved by merely giving students a foot in the door. Questions of class differences have spurred a nationwide movement of “first generation” student clubs on college campuses.

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Improve technology (broadband access) in rural areas and invest in local, small business development

File under: education, technology

5 (1 votes)

From: Terry B., Rison, AR

The old adage that it is better to be an average Joe in the middle of Arkansas than to be a genius in China is no longer true. Today's global economy leaves many behind. In rural areas in the United States, low wages, long commutes for work, and little or no broadband access keep communities poor and underdeveloped, and provide no incentive to young people to stay in their home communities after graduating from high school or college. A combination of buy and eat local and global commerce will allow these communities to thrive, grow, and once again keep their best and brightest at home to raise families and prosper.

Rural counties and communities should be provided with money, hardware and technical assistance to allow their communities to become county-wide WiFi hotspots. Computer use and programming and software development grants would help once the access is established. The powers-that-be want to promote the obsolete model of providing tax incentives to global corporations that come into an area and deplete the workforce and community of talent and ambition, only to pull up stakes and leave many unemployed people and yet another abandoned plant behind in their wakes. Small business and individual incentives should rival any provided to industry.

Industry has shown repeatedly that they are interested only in their bottom line, and when the grass seems greener on another continent, they will flee. Education and skills cannot be taken from a community, but the community can become so unattractive to talented, driven people that they also flee -- albeit to cities and more prosperous states, not overseas. We need to be able to market small and rural towns as being a part of the international commerce super highway. This can be dome through technological equity and small business support and development, to include training in how to operate a sustainable business and access capital.


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American RadioWorks |
Image: Harvard First Generation Student Union Facebook Page.

The First Gen Movement

Over the past decade many elite colleges have taken great strides to admit low-income students, but there are unanticipated financial and cultural barriers to fitting in on campus that can’t easily be solved by merely giving students a foot in the door. Questions of class differences have spurred a nationwide movement of “first generation” student clubs on college campuses.

Recent Posts

  • 04.15.15

    The Lost Children of Katrina

    In the year following Hurricane Katrina, 30 percent of displaced children were either not enrolled in school or not attending regularly. Today, Louisiana has the nation’s highest rate of young adults who are neither in school nor working. And researchers are starting to ask: could the widespread gaps in schooling after Katrina be the reason?
  • 04.08.15

    Saving a Women’s College from Closure

    Last month the board of Sweet Briar College announced that the school will shut its doors at the end of this term, due to financial difficulties. The announcement was made abruptly, sending the campus community into a state of shock... and then activism.
  • 04.01.15

    The Future of College

    Kevin Carey's book "The End of College" is stirring up debate in higher ed circles. This week, a response to the book by a critic.
  • 03.25.15

    The End of College or the University of Everywhere

    When education policy wonk Kevin Carey looks into the future, he sees the end of traditional colleges and universities and he says that's a good thing.