ESSEX, N.Y., May 13, 2021 More than thirty years ago, college admissions expert Rick Dalton founded the nonprofit CFES Brilliant Pathways to train underserved students to become college- and career-ready. Little did he know at the time that a pandemic would blow open an opportunity gap that disproportionately affected low-income students, particularly in rural America.
“Rick Dalton’s book lays out the pathway to a brighter future for young people across rural America like never before,” said former New York Gov. George Pataki.
Based in a small town in Northern New York, CFES has doubled down on its commitment to train thousands of school counselors, teachers, school staff, parents, and community stakeholders throughout the nation to help students set and achieve their goals.
Dalton’s latest book, Rural America’s Pathways to College and Career: Steps for Student Success and School Improvement, explaining these efforts, is now available on Amazon.com and from publisher Routledge.com.
The book provides solutions to the vexing educational challenges that small towns face and serves as a how-to guide for building college and career readiness within rural schools.
“This is a time of change that is creating enormous opportunities for rural America through education that is outlined by the man who quite literally wrote the book on the subject,” said New York Gov. George Pataki. “Rick Dalton’s book lays out the pathway to a brighter future for young people across rural America like never before.”
Rural America’s Pathways to College and Career shares practical tips that can be used by educators and community members to transform rural schools, help students develop essential skills, locate and train college- and career-ready advisors, establish business partnerships, build college readiness, leverage technology, build interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, and understand how to pay for college.
Based on research and drawing on best practice and poignant stories, Dalton shares examples of success and challenges from interviews conducted with over 300 individuals across the country. By helping rural youth learn about the opportunities available and by providing them with the support they need to succeed, this book serves as an actionable guide to helping students in rural schools attain postsecondary school success.
Chapter 7 is written by Dalton’s colleague at CFES, Jon Reidel, and it discusses how technology can be leveraged to improve opportunities in rural communities. The chapter describes how technology difficulties were exacerbated during COVID-19. As online learning provides flexibility and access to advanced courses, rural students are often left behind. The chapter provides examples of schools that are using innovative strategies to lead online instruction, as well as tips that parents can use to create an optimal virtual learning home environment and strategies that teachers can use to build relationships and engage students.
The book includes practical tips used by educators and community members to transform rural schools. By helping rural youth learn about the opportunities available and providing them with the support they need to succeed, this book serves as an actionable guide to help students in rural schools gain access to postsecondary education and training for successful careers.
“I applaud Dr. Dalton for providing such a clear and compelling blueprint for rural America’s pathways to college and career,” said Scott Thomas, dean of the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont. “Though the contributions of his writings are impressive and the importance of this book is significant, it’s the creation of programs and partnerships like the one with UVM that have the greatest impact on young people.”
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