The Vermont Connection


As intersectional identity frameworks urge student affairs practitioners to move toward a holistic view of the students we work with, it becomes evident that there are gaps in the literature regarding the ways in which dimensions of identity are culturally and contextually bound in place and time. These frameworks tend to minimize or ignore how students’ identity development on a college campus is informed by the environment and influences of their upbringing. College students of rural upbringings are an often overlooked demographic in higher education, and thus can serve as a case study to begin addressing this gap in the literature. Drawing on the author’s personal experience with rurality, this essay will seek to define rurality in higher education through a review of relevant literature in an effort to draw out a more nuanced understanding of student identity development.