Space and Place in Rural Program Implementation
A Look at Two Early College Programs in Ohio
Employing concepts of place and space, we consider the implementation of Early College initiatives in two small school districts in Ohio, situated in very different regions of the state. One is a rural district near the foothills of Appalachia, and the other is a small town district on the shores of Lake Erie. The paper examines data collected through a state-wide evaluation project. Our analysis suggests that where a school is located matters to the kinds of resources, opportunities and constrains it has for implementing state programs. Resources like transportation, access to college partners, and even proximity to other school districts made important differences to how these school districts implemented the Early College program. Given the variable conditions of school districts in Ohio and other states with a large number of rural and small city school districts, state policy makers should consider flexible implementation plans and variable levels of support.