Who We Are

Mission Of The Center

The mission of the Colorado Center for Rural Education at UNC is to support the needs of rural educators in Colorado. This mission will be accomplished through five sustainable priorities:

  1. Expansion of Educator Pipeline Programs.
  2. Identification of Rural Teaching Scholars from among pre-service junior and senior teacher candidates who commit to student teach in rural Colorado school districts.
  3. Cultivation of a Rural Teacher Leaders program that prepares teachers in rural communities for expanded professional roles through participation in programs leading to become National Board Certified Teachers or receive Concurrent Enrollment Certification.
  4. Development of a coordinated Professional Development Network for rural educators.
  5. Cultivation of advocacy and scholarship focused on rural education, including collaboration for grant proposal writing.

Vision and Objectives

The vision of the Colorado Center for Rural Education is to ensure an excellent education for children in rural Colorado. The primary vehicle in support of this overarching vision is to create a comprehensive system for professional development of educators across the rural school districts in Colorado that is focused on locating, preparing, and supporting effective educators in rural school districts.

Funding and Support 

The University of Northern Colorado received a five-year grant award from the Colorado Department of Higher Education in the amount of $2,205,475 for the establishment of the Colorado Center for Rural Education at UNC. An interagency agreement between the Colorado Department of Higher Education and the University of Northern Colorado to support the initial operations of the Center was signed in December of 2016 by UNC President Kay Norton and CDHE Interim Executive Director Dr. Kim Hunter Reed.

The clientele served by the Center for Rural Education include the current and prospective educators (i.e., teachers, administrators, and specialized instructional service providers) who work in Colorado’s school districts that are characterized as rural or small rural. The organizations that support these educators across the state of Colorado, and who have provided commitments to support the establishment of the Center for Rural Education, include the following:

  • Colorado BOCES Association
  • Colorado Department of Higher Education
  • Colorado Rural Schools Alliance
  • Fort Lewis College
  • Colorado Association of School Personnel Administrators
  • The Colorado Education Initiative
  • Colorado Education Association
  • Colorado Department of Education
  • Colorado Mountain College
  • Colorado Community College System  
  • Colorado Association of School Boards   
  • Public Education & Business Coalition


Center Overview Handout