Colorado Rural Teaching Fellowship
The $10,000 Colorado Rural Teaching Fellowship is available to selected candidates who complete a year-long clinical experience in a rural school district during the final year of their teacher preparation programs. Candidates who are selected for this fellowship, Rural Teaching Fellows, receive $5000 from their institute of higher education and $5000 from the Colorado Department of Higher Education as part of their financial aid package during their final year of licensure preparation. The year-long fellowships are created via partnerships between educator preparation programs (EPP) and rural Colorado schools / districts / BOCES or charter schools.
Note: This application differs from all other stipend applications via the Center for Rural Education because educator preparation program leaders submit applications to CDHE on behalf of their candidates and the districts with which they partner. Applications must contain the following documents:
- One completed agreement per partnership between an educator preparation program and an local education provider (LEP); and
- An individual agreement for and signed by each teacher candidate that outlines the financial terms of the fellowship if awarded.
The individual agreement for each teacher candidate needs to be created by the IHE on official letterhead and must include the financial agreement details. This agreement must also include the name of the school district, school(s), grade level(s) and endorsement area that the candidate will serve for the fellowship year. Each agreement must also be signed by the teacher candidate.
Eligible Partnerships Must Meet the Following Criteria:
- Rural LEP demonstrates serious need in hiring or retaining teachers and serious financial need that makes provision of any fellowship monies a hardship
- Agreement between Rural LEP and EPP to design an individualized, one-year teaching fellowship for each fellow, outlining the roles and expectations of both parties including: the fellow selection and match with school/district process, the school’s provision of a mentor who is an effective teacher, the LEP’s commitment to hire the fellow, and a plan for year-long support and assessment of the fellow.
To be eligible, Colorado Rural Teaching Fellows must teach in a single Colorado rural school district that has critical shortages of qualified teachers to fill elementary and secondary teacher positions. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of total fellowships available, priority may be given to rural school districts based on the level of chronic hiring difficulty and financial need demonstrated by the LEP. Priority may also be given to a candidate who previously resided within the area of the LEP and seeks to return there as a teacher.
Eligible Applicants Must Meet the Following Criteria:
- Be enrolled in an approved educator preparation program at a Colorado Institution of Higher Education.
- Be placed in a year-long clinical teaching experience within a Colorado rural school district for their final year of the preparation program.
- Be willing to commit to teach for 2 years in the rural school / district of the year-long clinical experience upon completing the preparation program and upon securing a Colorado teaching license.
- Maintain communications with the Colorado Center of Rural Education and Colorado Department of Higher Education staff during the year-long clinical experience and the 2 years of teaching commitment to share experiences, complete surveys and provide any necessary documentation.
Definition of Rural School District
For the purpose of this stipend, any Colorado school district with a student enrollment of 6500 students or less is defined as a rural school district. Preference for student teaching placement will be given to those school districts that are also located 50 miles or more from major metropolitan areas and outside of the Front-Range region of Colorado.