Educational experiences and academic achievement of rural students as compared to suburban and urban students in the United States

McDermott, Michael
Major Professor
William Wade Miller
Committee Member
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Agricultural Education and Studies

The purpose of the study was to determine if students in rural areas (schools) are educationally disadvantaged in comparison to students who attend school in urban and suburban areas;The objectives of this study were the following: (1) To describe and compare the academic courses taken and participation in school related activities by rural, urban, and suburban students. (2) To determine and compare the academic achievement of rural, urban, and suburban students. (3) To determine the strength and type of relationship between selected student factors and academic achievement. To build an equation which could predict academic achievement;The data for this study came from the National Educational Longitudinal Study:1988, (NELS:88). The base year study included a representative sample of eighth-grade students. The second follow-up was done when the sample of students were seniors in high school. The data from the second follow-up was used for statistical analysis to determine the findings that lead to the following conclusions. (1) A greater percentage of rural students take vocational courses than either urban or suburban students. (2) Student participation in extra- and intracurricular activities was nearly equal between the rural, urban, and suburban students. (3) Course taking among the three groups is not equal with the exception of the number of English units taken. (4) A higher percent of the rural students function at the lower end of the proficiency scales for math, science, and reading comprehension. (5) Rural students are academically lower than urban and suburban students in the areas of math, science, reading, and history/citizenship/geography based on this study. Students who complete their homework and are involved in school activities have two factors that correlated the highest to academic achievement. (6) Academic achievement is a complex characteristic. The six variables selected for the academic achievement prediction equation could only explain a small portion of the variance that exists within the academic achievement variable.