Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Learning, Leadership and Change

First Advisor

Robert Calvert

First Committee Member

Brett Taylor

Second Committee Member

Rod P. Githens


This research uses computational grounded theory to explore the human capital formation and stay/return migration experiences of well-educated Mong adults living in various rural/semi-rural Northern California localities within Butte, Yuba, and Sutter Counties. Rural vitality is dependent on the return of these well-educated rural-raised adults. Out-migration of rurality’s best and brightest contributes towards a brain drain and the hallowing out of rurality’s human capital. Findings of this research is conveyed using two research articles examining two different points on the continuum of rural vitality. The first article examines 19 Mong adults’ educational experiences within their rural communities and college education. The second article examines the experiences and factors for the same Mong adults to stay or return. The seven emerging themes describe Mong students’ social capital within their communities towards educational attainment and place affinity.





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