Who We Are
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:
- Expansion of Educator Pipeline Programs.
- Identification of Rural Teaching Scholars from among pre-service junior and senior teacher candidates who commit to student teach in rural Colorado school districts.
- 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.
- Development of a coordinated Professional Development Network for rural educators.
- 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 focused on the location, preparation, and support of educators for all rural and small rural school districts across the state of Colorado through a commitment to convening, connecting, and capacity building.
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 former UNC President Kay Norton and the former Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, 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
Bill Sponsors, Governor Polis and stakeholders
Signing SB-009, "Financial Incentives for Rural Educators"
The former bill is now law.
“Under existing law, the department of higher education (department) annually awards up to 40 stipends of not more than $2,800 to students enrolled in teacher preparation programs who agree to teach in a rural school or rural school district. The bill removes the limit on the number of stipends and increases the amount to $4,000.
Under existing law, the department also annually awards up to 60 stipends to educators in rural schools and rural school districts who are seeking certain certifications. The bill removes the limit on the number of stipends.”