Strategies for Funders - Community Colleges and Rural Development cover imageThe Rural Community College Initiative (RCCI) was a demonstration program designed and managed by MDC to strengthen rural community colleges.

Funded by the Ford Foundation from 1994 to 2001, RCCI helped 24 community and tribal colleges in the nation's most economically distressed regions to move their people and communities toward prosperity. It supported aggressive and creative efforts to increase jobs, income, and access to education in rural communities.

To sustain and expand the work begun by the RCCI demonstration, MDC and the college presidents created the Rural Community College Alliance, a membership organization that supports peer learning and provides a national voice for rural colleges and the communities they serve.

A follow-up RCCI program, managed by the Southern Rural Development Center and North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, is currently introducing RCCI philosophy and practice to additional colleges.

Related Reports

MDC documented the colleges' experiences and produced these reports to help other rural colleges, leaders and philanthropists become engaged in community development work: 

Go Deeper

For more information on the Rural Community College Initiative, contact Richard E. Hart.