Although there has recently been a relative abundance of material produced on adult education in rural areas outside the United States, little work has been done that focuses on the changing nature of rural adult learning and instruction in the States. Such neglect, however, does not suggest that rural issues and rural places lack relevance in contemporary U.S. society. This volume seeks to expand our concept of the rural United States as it explores the role that adult educators might play in this complex context. Indeed, complexity is the hallmark of this volume. Although rural areas are still composed of large expanses of open space, a continuing process of suburbanization is resulting in demographic, economic, and cultural changes that challenge those teaching and learning in rural places. This is the 117th volume in the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, an indispensable series that explores issues of common interest to instructors, administrators, counselors, and policymakers in a broad range of adult and continuing education settings, such as colleges and universities, extension programs, businesses, libraries, and museums.