Author (Your Name)

Elizabeth C. HuberFollow

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Education Program


Adam Howard

Second Advisor

Jay Sibara


While the need for a college degree has increased in the knowledge economy era, acquisition of this degree has remained difficult for low-income and first-generation students. At the same time, college preparatory programs designed for this demographic of student tend to be clustered in urban centers while very little focus is given to disadvantaged students in rural communities. The academic prospects of rural students in regards to higher education are the focus of this project. More specifically, this project explores the ways in which college-cultured programs may address the educational needs of students living in rural communities. By doing in-depth case studies of four college bound seniors attending two rural Maine high schools, the pivotal influences that guided these students toward a higher degree were revealed. Ultimately, this study validates the need for pre-existing programs in a rural Maine town, exposes the ways that they can be improved, and argues that the presence of college-cultured programs such as Breakthrough Collaborative could make a difference in the lives of these under-performing rural students.


Rural, College Preparatory, Education, Cultural Capital, Institutional, Knowledge Economy