Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Higher Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Paul Bylsma

Academic Year



Rural students face unique challenges in navigating opportunities to find community and access support in higher education, despite these opportunities being critical to success. Factors such as geographic isolation, limited resources, and unfamiliarity with campus environments can exacerbate these challenges, highlighting the need for tailored interventions to enhance rural student outcomes in higher education. Getting involved on campus and having a sense of belonging has long been cited as important facets to promoting student success. This project seeks to develop a targeted orientation program with informative presentations, inclusive social events, and hands-on opportunities to experience a variety of clubs and organizations on campus. Community Compass: New Rural Student Orientation hopes to provide rural students with the foundational information they need to be successful and find support in their new postsecondary environment.