The Rural Scholars Program

We’ve moved! Our new (official) website is:


Our Mission

Kent State University’s Rural Scholars Program will offer first-generation students from Columbiana County and neighboring areas a college access program designed to give them and their families the knowledge, rigorous academic exposure, and social support they will need in order to be successful at a world-class university. Our goal is for every student in our program to complete post-secondary education with the credentials necessary to succeed in his or her career. Students who successfully complete the high school portion of the program will be eligible to apply for a Rural Scholars Scholarship at Kent State’s Salem and East Liverpool campuses.

The program’s collaborative values, rooted in an appreciation for place, culture, and local history will bring together university resources with community assets to produce innovative curriculum and dynamic service experiences for students along the K-16 continuum. As students succeed as Rural Scholars, they will have structured opportunities to reinvest their own energies and talents back into the community, serving as mentors for the students following in their footsteps.

Our Vision

Rural Scholars experience education as a means for weaving together the various threads of their experiences, their lives, their community, their world. Rural Scholars understand their own responsibility for being lifelong learners and engaged community members.

For more information or to get involved, contact

Dr. David Dees: or 330.337.4285

Wendy Pfrenger: or 330.337.4233.