Rural Teacher Corps

Rural Teacher Corps

Redefining rural leadership

The recruitment, preparation and retention of outstanding rural teacher-leaders is an essential element of the Rural Schools Collaborative's work.


We partner with several Rural Teacher Corps, including the Ozarks Teacher Corps in Missouri, and the Black Belt Teacher Corps in western Alabama.

The Rural Schools Collaborative also facilitates the "I am a Rural Teacher!" project, which empowers and connects rural teachers around the country, and shares their stories and rural education perspective.

We believe a Twenty-First Century Rural Teacher Corps can spearhead educational innovation and serve as a catalyst for thoughtful rural renewal. RSC provides a strong rationale for a Rural Teacher Corps with specific recommendations on how to move forward with this concept. In addition, we are proud to work with exemplary rural teacher corps efforts.

SKETCHING OUT A PLAN: Our recent webinar that examined three "rural teacher corps" programs--view here.

  • Making The Case: Why is the Rural Teacher Corps concept important to the future of rural communities? Learn why education in the linchpin issue in rural economic development.
  • Exemplary Efforts: Learn how existing programs that embody Rural Teacher Corps concepts are already impacting rural communities.
  • Recommendations: On June 13-14, 2016 a group of rural school and community activists gathered on the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University to discuss how they might create a better future for their rural schools and communities. At the center of their discussions was the essential question: How do we work together to strengthen the recruitment, preparation, and placement/retention of future rural teacher-leaders? Here is a summary of their work.

Read more about our efforts and check out the latest media recognition on this concept. If you or your institution would like to participate in the Rural Teacher Corps planning project, please contact Rural Schools Collaborative director, Gary Funk, at 417-848-9083 or gfunk@ruralschoolscollaborative.org.