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The Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools (AIRSS) was chartered in 1987 with the purpose of presenting a unified effort to promote educational excellence in rural and small schools in Illinois. In 1994, LOCON (Local Control) merged with and became an affiliate of AIRSS to solidify them as the ONLY statewide organization that helps to promote and enhance education in rural and small schools in every community and location of Illinois. The emphasis of AIRSS is to give identity, voice and recognition to rural and small schools and their local communities.

As an education equity initiative focused on the needs of rural school communities across America, Journey12 is very proud to partner with AIRSS to offer our award-winning localized Podcast, Beyond the Tassel, to the rural school communities of Illinois at absolutely no cost to the districts, parents, or students. This Podcast is designed to extend the essential voice of our partners' local college guidance departments through a weekly examination of college admissions insights, tips, and strategies for success. By giving our rural families convenient access to these college guidance resources, we level the playing field with suburban and metropolitan schools, as well as private college prep schools. Our kids are smart, hardworking, and very capable of competing for spots at the Nation's top colleges and universities, and it is our mission to help them do so.


A downloadable PDF of the episode calendar may be downloaded here:

A sampling of our Illinois rural school community partners include: 

Becoming a Beyond the Tassel School Community Partner is easy. Contact Journey12 at for details.

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