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

The Rural Education Center with the College of Education at Kansas State University has a long history of direct and meaningful engagement with rural districts throughout rural Kansas. The Rural Education Center is led by Director and Hub Contact Spencer Clark, Asst. Director Lori Goodson, and Program Coordinator Diane Beets.

Kansas State University was founded in 1863 as the state's first land-grant college and institution of higher education, dating a close connection to rural areas to their inception. 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.

Lori Goodson, Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and the Rural Education Center's Assistant Director, shares that, "We see [our] 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 Rural Education Center 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 goals:

  • 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

The Rural Education Center 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.”

Supporting rural education and teachers is central to the Rural Education Center’s work, and is highlighted through a variety of programs:

To learn more about our Kansas Hub, check out the stories below.

Teacher Profile

Brian Skinner - Newton, KS

"Helping those students that would struggle to find success if a teacher wasn't there.”

We had the opportunity to have Brian Skinner, 2023 Kansas Teacher of the Year, join us on the I Am a Rural Teacher Podcast to share about his passion for teaching.

Listen to the podcast