In Kevin McClure’s view, the public often only hears about regional colleges when disaster strikes.
These colleges serve a broad contingent of students. Yet, they generally have fewer resources than their flagship and research counterparts and get little attention in the postsecondary landscape, says McClure, a higher education professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, one such institution.
To undo misconceptions and elevate these colleges’ profiles, McClure and several like-minded academics devised the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges. The collaborative seeks to emphasize the importance of these schools, public and private, through academic study. They got around $125,000 in grant money from the Joyce Foundation before their public launch this month and plan to publish an inaugural report next week. Higher Ed Dive discussed what the research group hopes to accomplish with McClure and some of the myths surrounding regional colleges.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.