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About Us

We are very excited that the Rural Education Institute (REI) has been elevated to a college-level institute located in Greenville, North Carolina. North Carolina has the 2nd highest number of rural students in the country- 568,161; roughly 40% of its overall percentage of public school students. Additionally, North Carolina has a student population that is poorer and more diverse than most other states (Showalter, Klein, Johnson, and Harman, 2017). REI is housed in East Carolina University’s College of Education (COE). The COE is one of the largest producers of teachers in NC and the chief supplier of teachers to the state’s eastern region. The COE has a formal partnership with 43 public school districts in eastern NC. These rural districts are challenged by high levels of economic need, low performing schools, elevated teacher turnover rates, Health Professional shortage areas for mental and physical health, and difficulty staffing schools with fully-licensed educators teaching in their areas of certification (Harmon, 2007).

Vision

REI seeks to grow and leverage research-practice partnerships that address educational disparities and ensure access to high quality education through targeted research, policy development, and professional learning.  REI values collaboration with school and community partners in exploring common problems of practice through the engagement of varying perspectives. REI supports the National Rural Education Association 2016-2021 research priorities in equal educational opportunity and building capacity to advance rural students’ educational achievements. REI is committed to furthering understanding of key rural contextual factors through the lens of continual improvement.

History

In 1982, the College of Education received a grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to establish the Rural Education Institute. The Rural Education Institute (REI) was developed to increase awareness of the unique strengths and needs of rural schools in eastern North Carolina. In 1984 the North Carolina General Assembly appropriated funds for ECU’s REI and established a counterpart at Western Carolina University. During this time, REI provided support in curriculum, management, organizational, personnel, technology, policy, and risk management audits for public school systems. In July 2002, REI was reorganized to align the institute with several national organizations and universities that focus on rural education issues. With shifts in funding and priorities, REI currently focuses support on the Clinical Teacher conferences and multiple outreach initiatives for middle school and/or high school students from the region.  These efforts are intended to strengthen the college’s clinical partners’ PK-12 educational opportunities and to recruit, prepare, and support teachers in rural eastern North Carolina (Davis, 2017). While this work will remain under the Office of Educator Preparation, REI has recently been moved under the Dean’s office as a college-wide initiative and is under revisioning to better meet the needs of our school-university-community partnerships.

College News
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ECU College of Education hosts spring Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy Institute
The East Carolina University College of Education hosted the spring 2018 Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy Institute on Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Holiday Inn in Greenville, NC. The Institute provides ongoing professional development focusing on best practices in literacy. Participants included literacy leaders and educators from the Latham Clinical Schools Network, a privately funded partnership program that supports the enhancement of 43 school systems in eastern North Carolina, as well as ECU students and faculty. The Margaret Blount Harvey Institutes are possible through the generosity Continue reading →

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SEADAP 2018 – 2
SEADAP Science Fair 2018
The Science Education Against Drug Abuse Partnership (SEADAP) program, which started in 2014, held its Third Annual Science Fair on January 25th, 2018 on the campus of East Carolina University. The goals of the NIH/NIDA/SEDPA grant-funded project are to increase student knowledge about drug addiction and to increase student interest in biomedical research and careers. J.H. Rose High School student Aleksandra (Aleks) Jones, left, and Greene Early College High School student Lailani Cruz-Alvarez, right, receive feedback on their project from ECU student judges. SEADAP students began conducting scientific research Continue reading →

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NCCA Awards
Counselor Faculty Members Honored at Annual Conference
East Carolina University College of Education’s Dr. Scott Glass received The Ella Stephens Barrett Award at the North Carolina Counseling Association’s annual conference in Durham, NC on Feb. 1. The award is the highest honor given by NCCA and recognizes excellence in professional leadership and service to the counseling profession. Glass is the Chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Professions at ECU, past president of the NCCA, review board member of the Journal for Specialists in Group Work, ACA, NCCA, and group work division member for Continue reading →

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Contact Us

For more information about our programs, please contact:

Kristen Cuthrell, Ed.D.
Associate Professor and Interim Director
1008-A Bate Building
252-328-5748
cuthrellma@ecu.edu