Driftless Region

Our Driftless Region Hub is anchored by the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s School of Education.

University of Wisconsin-Platteville is a national leader in training the next generation of rural teacher-leaders in place-based education, sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Tim Buttles at The School of Education at University of Wisconsin-Platteville heads up the Driftless Region Hub.

The successful preparation of future educators has been a longstanding strength of our Driftless Hub partners at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville School of Education. The university graduates an average of 120 students per year in education, with 80 percent of the graduates teaching in rural communities. Recently, the faculty launched a new rural-focused K-through-9 licensure program.

At the Platteville School of Education, curriculum reflects an integrated, place-based, and rural-centric approach. Rural Schools Collaborative was pleased to support a portion of this work through the 2021 Catalyst Initiative, which awarded a $25,000 planning grant to support UWP’s rural teacher preparation efforts. The UWP team aspires to create excellent, rural-ready leaders who go out into the field of education become rural teachers and community leaders.

With a particular emphasis on place-based practices, professional flexibility, equity and inclusivity, and social justice, graduates of this program critically engaged on the realities of living and teaching in a rural area. This includes a curriculum designed to create asset-based thinking, countering negative stereotypes of small towns, and recently the intentional recruitment of spanish-speaking teaching candidates. Learn more about teachers, students, and schools of the Driftless Area below:

Grants in Place Feature

Experiential Learning in the Driftless

Jay Gesin, a ROOTed in Place grant recipient, engages his students in place-based education through a project he calls “Experiential Learning in the Driftless”.

As a recipient of the Compeer Financial General Use Grant, Rural Schools Collaborative granted three rural teachers in Compeer Financial’s service region to engage their students in agricultural themed place-based education projects during the 2023-24 school year.

With his award, Jay Gesin was excited to engage his students in their community and environment by using local resources and partnerships to encourage a deep sense of connection to their surroundings.

Learn more about Jay's Project