Kansas

The Rural Education Center at Kansas State University leads the Kansas Hub.

The Rural Education Center (REC) with the College of Education at Kansas State University (KSU) has a long history of direct and meaningful engagement with rural districts throughout rural Kansas, a legacy REC is committed to upholding. The Rural Education Center is led by Spencer Clark (Director), Lori Goodson (Assistant Director), and Diane Beets (Program Coordinator).


Kansas State University (KSU) was founded in 1863 as the state's first land-grant college and institution of higher education. Originally named Kansas State Agricultural College, the university's attention to rural landscapes and rural life dates back to its very inception. Entering its fifth decade, KSU's Rural Education Center (previously called the Center for Rural Education and Small Schools) has partnered with Rural Schools Collaborative to connect with a national network of rural schools as well as higher-education institutions and organizations focused on rural teachers and rural education.

REC Staff Outside Bluemont Hall
The Rural Education Center staff in front of Bluemont Hall

Lori Goodson, Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and the Rural Education Center's (REC) Assistant Director, shares that, "We see [the REC's] involvement with the RSC network as our opportunity to reach beyond the walls of our College of Education and help rural schools and other stakeholders join forces to truly raise their voices for the good of rural communities in Kansas and beyond."

The REC works to reach all the rural school districts throughout the state, especially those districts in the southeast, southwest, and northwest regions of Kansas, and it has several main aims:

  • Generate grants and other projects to help rural schools districts

  • Create a homegrown workforce for schools

  • Advance rural student leadership in the College of Education

  • Help generate place-based curriculum that makes use of the unique learning available to rural school

NREA's Allen Pratt Visits Partners at KSU
NREA's Allen Pratt Visits Partners at KSU

The REC team is passionate about changing the rural narrative, working to shift the broader public perception of rural as a deficit toward a more positive perspective, one that views rural education and rural life as an asset. And, the team prides itself on its dedication to serving all of the rural districts throughout the state. Lori notes that “we need to rewrite the rural narrative to help [the] broader society move away from a deficit perspective regarding rural schools and shift to an assets-based perspective … Rural schools and communities are so unique and distinct, we want to make sure that others know authentic stories of rural life.”

In just the past two years, the REC has been doing some amazing work to support rural education and rural teachers throughout Kansas through a variety of programs and projects, including:

The REC’s long history of direct and personable engagement at the grassroots level, and strong drive to change the narrative around rural places, exemplifies the mission-driven regional collaboration RSC strives to uphold. This partnership will be an incredible opportunity to collaboratively pursue shared visions of a thriving rural ecosystem focused on the power of place and the unique leadership of rural educators in their home communities.

Introducing our partners' great work in rural Kansas

Kansas State University

We're Proud to Announce RSC's Kansas Hub!

In partnership with the Rural Education Center (REC) at Kansas State University (KSU), Rural Schools Collaborative is pleased to announce our new Kansas Hub! In just the past two years, the REC has launched some incredibly meaningful programs and projects, including the LEAPES project, the ED ASTRA program, and the RPDS Network. Through this new partnership, our new Kansas partners are helping to raise awareness for rural schools and amplify the voices of rural teachers across the state.

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More news & stories from our Kansas Hub: