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The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological study is to understand the transition from high school to college among first year, undergraduate students from rural communities at The Ohio State University. Through the conduct of interviews with 13 participants, I have been able to gauge how rural community high school graduates describe their transition into an urban university setting in one of Ohio’s largest cities. Research has shown that students in rural communities are in the lowest of proportions on college campuses, and often it is because they are not exposed to the resources available to prepare for post-secondary education. In this study, students from rural communities have expressed feeling unprepared for college upon graduating high school, and lack of preparedness has been demonstrated through minimal challenging class offerings, unmotivated high school teachers, and not being a part of a college conversation prior to enrolling at the university. My interpretation of the data suggests that some of our rural students may not be exposed to and prepared for post-secondary education, indicating missed opportunities towards maximizing leadership potential and growth within our agricultural communities.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Savio Dennis Franco

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education


Stander Symposium poster


Presenter: Hannah Danielle Zimmerman

Understanding the Transition from Rural High School Student to Urban College Student