Mapping Your Future: Secretary of Education hosts roundtable to hear from rural students



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Secretary of Education hosts roundtable to hear from rural students

By Catherine Mueller

June 24, 2021

The Department of Education recently focused on the needs of rural students, which may provide some insight into how postsecondary institutions can assist those students as they prepare for higher education.

On June 21, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona held a virtual roundtable conversation with rural students from grades 6-12. According to the announcement from the Department, the Secretary discussed with participants what it was like to be a rural student during the pandemic, as well as heard from them on what the Department can do to support them and improve their learning experience.

"Compared to urban schools, rural community schools have a hard time offering a wider variety of classes and extracurriculars," said Secretary Cardona, adding that the roundtable conversation, "will help us focus on how we can best provide more opportunities for students in rural communities to get the same educational experience that students in larger schools are getting."

One of the main concerns expressed by students in the conversation was the need for improved technology and access to high-speed Internet with better bandwidth. Based on 2018 data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 28 percent of the Nation's public schools were located in rural areas, with 19 percent of all public school students enrolled at these schools.