Eastern Illinois University sits in a predominantly rural and agricultural area. EIU students, whether they come from rural, suburban or urban backgrounds, prepare for careers that often take them away from rural places, a chain of events that some have labeled “brain drain.” This interdisciplinary rural studies minor is designed to help students be more informed about rural issues and be prepared, where possible, to take leadership roles in rural areas and in rural initiatives.
Faculty in several departments including Geology/Geography, History, English, Economics, Political Science, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Communication Studies study rural topics, or engage in research that supports instruction in rural issues. The subject matter explored in courses will address rural from local, state, and regional perspectives. EIU resources such as the SEED Center (Sustainable Entrepreneurship through Education and Development), which provides free management training for small business entrepreneurs, can offer additional support for students interested in rural economic development.