NOTE: Due to the success of the Columbiana County Rural Scholars Program, Kent State University has implemented a local version of our program on each of the seven regional campuses. To align the mission university-wide, all of the campuses have adopted the Rising Scholars  name, including the program on the Columbiana County campuses. The Columbiana County Rising Scholars program is the exact same program, just under a new name that connects us system-wide.

Each campus will develop programming, experiences and outcomes that are relevant to their respective local communities.  

Now, under the new designation of Rising Scholars, students from the entire northeast Ohio region are benefiting from this approach to student success.  


We envision this program as more than just a program for a limited number of students and their families.

We hope that around these students we’ll create an awareness of interdependent community, meaning that the students will be surrounded by family members, educators, and community members all offering their support, a support grounded in a deep sense of responsibility to our local history and our local environment.

Rural Scholars learn to be active in the community.Community members can help Rising Scholars by:

  • hosting career exploration field trips for our classes.
  • hosting teachers in our business-teacher guest program.
  • collaborating with our Curricular Committee in planning service opportunities for students.
  • sharing your knowledge of community resources and needs with us.
  • guest-lecturing in our student and parent workshops.
  • serving on our Advisory Board.
  • offering financial support as we get the program up and running. Visit our donate page to find out more.

Contact Dr. Jessica Paull, Interim Director, by phone 330-337-4124 or by email (jpaull@kent.edu) to get involved!  

To get an idea of what a successful program like this can do, take a look at some of the following programs which have served as models for the Rising Scholars Program Design.