RSC's Theory of Change

RSC's Board of Directors developed and approved this Theory of Change statement. Board action was taken in February of 2021.

May 14, 2021 |

Rural Schools Collaborative Theory of Change

A ​Theory of Change​ and ​Logic Model are often used interchangeably. However, they convey different but linked lenses. A Theory of Change often describes the big picture vision of the organization and connected elements while a ​Logic Model​ articulates the details of specific program areas. We are building a ​Theory of Change​ that includes some elements of logic models to help articulate need, activities/inputs, outputs, and long-term vision. ​Values ​are a critical component to help guide the process and are included below.

Mission Statement

Building sustainable rural communities through a keen focus on place, teachers, and philanthropy.


  1. Equity: ​We create space to amplify, seek leadership from, and include contribution from marginalized identities and communities.
  2. Relationships:​ We connect people and build relationships to foster collaborative success.
  3. Sparking ideas and starting small: We believe that great ideas start small and grow big.
  4. Scale​: We support scalable practices.
  5. Letting go:​ We let go of projects that others are better poised to grow.
  6. Hope and possibility: ​We see unconditional positive regard for the potential of rural places.
  7. Doing:We do things that directly impact rural communities.

Need Statement

This is why Rural Schools Collaborative exists.

  1. Schools are decontextualized​. ​While schools are often central to rural communities, the core learning approach in schools is disconnected from the present and future condition of the community. We support scho​ols to link learning to place in order to change the future of the community.
  2. Rural teacher numbers are declining. ​It is getting harder to find quality teachers in rural spaces. We advocate for an abundance of high quality teaching in rural spaces.
  3. Funding levels are challenging. ​Rural schools are underfunded in high-poverty areas. We build resources and connections to support rural school community, regional philanthropy to fund innovative educational projects in schools
  4. Teachers are professionally isolated: ​Rural schools and organizations are disconnected from each other. We connect rural schools and organizations around the nation.

Vision Statement

Every rural community​ has well-resourced ​schools ​(3)​ ​with ​empowered and talented teachers and leaders ​(2)​ ​who ​develop agency​ in young people to see a ​positive future in their community ​(1)​. Through a connected rural ​collaborative, ​high quality effective learning experiences are ​shared ​and ​scaled ​(4).

**​Note that each element of the vision statement has a number that links to the Need Statement above.

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