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Rural College Access & Success Summit


Brought to you by Partners for Education at Berea College and College Success Arizona

The Rural College Access and Success Summit is an annual opportunity to put the needs of rural America on center stage. The Summit brings together teachers, principals, superintendents, legislators, nonprofit leaders and other stakeholders, and provides opportunities to share ideas and strategies for ensuring that rural youth have the opportunity to successfully transition from high school to college and to career. During the Summit, college access and success programs that serve rural America can share best practices and highlight the unique challenges of increasing opportunity in rural America. Please visit the Summit website to learn more.

In 2020, we expect approximately 500 attendees from across the United States.  Attendees are teachers, principals and superintendents as well as government and non-profit leaders. Last year’s attendees hailed from 35 states – from Maine to Alaska – and more than 40% of our attendees represented GEAR UP programs from across the country.

Interested in being a Sponsor or Exhibitor at the Rural College Access & Success Summit in April 2020?
Click below to see how you can become involved!

For additional information, please contact Shaylinn Aleman at

Sponsorship Info

Exhibitor Info

Registration Information

Registration includes breakfast and lunch on April 27 and 28. Summit check-in will be available on-site beginning at 3:00 PM on Sunday, April 26. The opening plenary will begin at 8:30 AM on Monday, April 27. The closing plenary will end at 4:15 PM on Tuesday, April 28. Additionally, pre-Summit (Sunday, April 26) and post-Summit (Wednesday, April 29) learning opportunities will be available.

Summit Registration

Interested in submitting a proposal?

Additional information about the Summit, including the call for proposals for breakout sessions, can be found here. The deadline for breakout session proposals is January 10, 2020.

Submit a Proposal

Pre-Summit Sessions

Three concurrent Pre-Summit sessions will be available for attendees who wish to deepen their learning and engagement with relevant, timely topics. Each session will run from 1:00-4:30 PM and has a registration fee of $50 (which will include all session materials and snacks).

  • GEAR UP in Rural Communities
  • Family Engagement for Rural College Access and Success
  • Understanding Trauma and ACES within Our Rural Students

Post-Summit Tour

Join College Success Arizona and Partners for Education at Berea College on Wednesday, April 29 for a daylong tour of rural Arizona.  The exciting one-day bus tour will feature Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood. The school received a GEAR UP grant in 2012, which they consider a catalyst for numerous systematic changes that continued to evolve beyond the grants end in 2018. Now the school has multiple initiatives that work through the lens of love, hope and optimism including AVID, Power Hour, Academic Overtime, and a new advisory structure focused on social/emotional learning and college and career readiness. We will be hearing from Mingus administration about what they’re doing to change the needle on student achievement. After touring the school, we will be heading to the beautiful desert town of Sedona, located in central Arizona. Sedona is known around the world for its beautiful red sandstone formations and its spiritual vortexes. In Sedona, attendees will be free to roam the city’s downtown and treat themselves to lunch before we head back to Scottsdale. Registration cost for the tour is $75 and includes all transportation costs. Tour limited to 55 people.  


Hotel Information

A block of discounted rooms has been reserved at the Talking Stick Resort, the Summit venue, for Summit attendees. Reservations can be made by calling the resort directly at (866) 877-9897. Please use booking ID #18281 when reserving your room(s). Reservations for the discounted block can be made until March 26, 2020, or until rooms sell out (whichever comes first). All guests will be responsible for room, resort fee, tax, bellman, housekeeping gratuities, and all incidentals. Bellman and housekeeping gratuities will automatically be posted to the guest’s individual folio. All guests checking into the resort will need to have a valid credit card and identification in order to check in.

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