Purdue Center for Rural Research, Education, and Outreach

To further the land grant mission of Purdue University, which emphasizes equal educational opportunities for all students, the College of Education, in partnership with key stakeholders has established Indiana’s inaugural comprehensive rural education center.


The Rural Center for Teaching, Research and Outreach ensures rural collaborative partnerships that promote high quality experiences for teachers and students; coordinates education outreach efforts; and provides sustainable opportunities for advancing the needs of communities through interdisciplinary research and advocacy.

The rural center plans to focus on five major strands:

  1. Continuing professional development
    Providing research-based PD to rural P-12 teachers as one of the outputs of the center will ensure that rural teachers have equitable access to the latest methods and best practices in teaching and learning.
  2. Research
    Focusing on developing rural community-based learning experiences to better understand authentic collaboration will strengthen pre-service teachers’ knowledge of community cultural wealth and adopt pedagogy that is grounded in culturally responsive teaching practices.
  3. Teaching (Preparation, Recruitment, and Retention)
    By intentionally increasing placements in neighboring rural areas, the center will position the COE and its partners to extend innovative and rigorous practices to surrounding Indiana rural communities.
  4. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
    As the population demographics of rural communities has become more racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse, school funding has decreased providing a gap in the professional development offered to P-12 teachers.
  5. Outreach (addressing poverty, mental health)
    Indiana ranks among the top ten states with the largest population of students enrolled in rural school districts. For many rural communities, schools are the central organizing structure for providing awareness, enrollment, and delivery of social services. Research and community outreach will support low-income and minoritized groups.

Upcoming Events

2024 Rural Education Summit

Apr 12, 2024, 8:30am – 3:30pm
Made@Plainfield, 1610 Reeves Road, Plainfield IN 46168

Register for the 2024 Rural Education Summit