A teacher holding up a book to students

Tiffany Ward reads to children at New Franklin elementary school. 

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Teacher Education Expansion

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Missouri school districts have reduced class time to four days per week in response to the teacher shortage

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Percentage of residents 25 years old and over in Missouri rural counties without a high school degree – almost twice the rate in urban counties (8.1%)

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Decrease in teacher education students statewide over the last decade

From its origin in 1865 as the State Normal School for teachers, the University of Missouri College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) has a collective interest in rural schools and communities and is positioned to intentionally address the most effective paths to overcome challenges and build on strengths. Today, the College’s work is comprehensive to education, families, and communities, with six independent yet interconnected academic units and more than a dozen outreach units working to improve all aspects of our lifespan.

Located in the heart of Missouri, CEHD researchers have been attuned to the needs and disparities of rural education for decades, conducting research specific to rural school implementation in classrooms and facilities in all corners of Missouri. The framework exists to build out enhanced effective outreach in school mental health, special education, literacy, STEM, school climate, technology, information –and more.

The Mizzou Rural Education Initiative is a coordinated effort to align the strengths and focus areas of the College of Education and Human Development in order to examine and address the needs of rural schools and communities statewide.

The College of Education and Human Development can influence a wide range of challenges that matter to people in Missouri communities. Our approach will combine a focus on impacting the teacher pipeline with strategic investments in innovation.

Growing the Teacher Pipeline

The University of Missouri is committed to doubling its enrollment in teacher education from early childhood education to high school, in all subject areas, preparing future education professionals that are the foundations of schools. Thanks to a nearly $1 million MU investment to fully develop an online education degree program that will allow people in all areas of the state to access teaching degrees from their hometowns. The investment will increase the College of Education and Human Development’s capacity to serve students and maintain its tradition of high standards in quality teacher preparation.

Investing in Innovation

Over the course of the next two years, the MU College of Education and Human Development will intentionally fund research and outreach efforts that will make a difference in rural communities. The span of rural need and the College of Education and Human Development’s capability are vast; therefore, faculty and outreach unit staff will be invited to present competitive and innovative ideas for research, program development, or expansion. Programs will capitalize on the College’s historic strengths and utilize the many paths to collaboration both within the College and across MU.

Philanthropic partnerships can greatly enhance and expand the Mizzou Rural Education Initiative. Additional investment could forge even more paths of research and outreach, extend the life and reach of programs, reinforce the teacher pipeline, and strengthen the very heart of Missouri.