About the Center

At Virginia Tech, we are passionate about improving educational opportunities for rural students. As a land grant university, we are committed to collaborating with rural communities in and around Southwest Virginia to ensure equitable K–12 educational experiences, increase college and career access, improve availability of the latest technologies, and invest in local enterprises. The Center integrates knowledge from across disciplines to bring greater attention to the talents and needs of rural schools and communities.

Click here to read a recent story about us in the Virginia Tech news!


The Center for Rural Education aims to advance educational equity in rural communities through research and outreach. Working with transdisciplinary teams from Virginia Tech and beyond, especially partners in rural communities, the Center for Rural Education seeks to understand and address the complex challenges that impact rural schooling. With the overarching goal of expanding learning opportunities for young people in rural places, the Center for Rural Education engages in robust research and meaningful outreach focused on serving students and underrepresented and historically marginalized rural populations in Southwest Virginia, Central Appalachia, and other rural communities throughout the United States and across the globe. 


At the Virginia Tech Center for Rural Education, we aim to: 

  • Build transdisciplinary teams that serve to bridge rural schooling with economic advancement, environmental activism, healthcare initiatives, and broadband technologies;
  • Work with interdisciplinary collaborators to apply for large-scale external grant funding focused on advancing equity in rural schools and communities;
  • Provide ongoing professional learning opportunities to rural teachers and educational leaders;
  • Establish school and community partnerships with rural districts across the region;
  • Support efforts within the Virginia Tech School of Education to develop innovative pathways for teacher licensure to support staffing needs in rural schools; 
  • Engage undergraduate and graduate students with research and outreach focused on educational equity in rural schools and communities;
  • Host an annual conference at Virginia Tech focused on rural education.

Collaborate with us! Email rural@vt.edu to get in touch.


Applications for SEE VT 2023 are now open! Rising 6th and 7th grade students from rural schools are encouraged to apply!

Support Us

Please help us grow our efforts to support rural schools and communities by clicking here to make a donation. Alternatively, contact the Virginia Tech Foundation and direct your gift to the Center for Rural Education Annual Fund.

Please let us know that you’ve made a contribution so we can thank you and learn more about your rural journey! 

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