Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education


Higher Education

First Advisor

Donahoo, Saran


Rural high school students are much less likely to choose higher education than their urban or suburban peers as their post high school choice. This research examines the process of choice of four rural high school graduates and their lived realities through this transition. From the four interviews conducted reoccurring themes of strong community `kinship,' high support level in school, and low parental attainment immerged. These themes highlight a sacrifice of individual identity for a collective community identity and social context in which fears of difference (race and class) underlie the rejection of foreign experiences. Low parental attainment shifts the cultural capital to peers or teachers while limited ranges of employability further gender and divide post high school choice.




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