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ֱ, WCU partnership leads to Mississippi’s entrance into national Rural Schools Collaborative

Contact: Harriet Laird

Portrait of Amanda Tullos
Amanda Tullos (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—An alliance between Mississippi State and William Carey universities is bringing the Magnolia State into a national collaborative focused on building rural communities through education.

The Rural Schools Collaborative, which works to sustain rural communities by addressing teacher shortages through philanthropy and promoting place-based learning, is welcoming Mississippi educators and advocates through an ֱ-WCU partnership—the Mississippi Rural Education Association.

Amanda Tullos, rural education project manager for ֱ’s Social Science Research Center, said she has long been an admirer of the work RSC is doing to change the narrative about rural teaching and schools.

“With Mississippi joining this group of advocates, we hope to build a community that crosses sectors—from early childhood through post-secondary education,” she said.

Portrait of Patti Permenter
Patti Permenter (Photo submitted)

The Rural Schools Collaborative operates 17 regional hubs across the U.S. which not only share information, but work side by side on authentic projects and pursue funding opportunities, all in support of nonurban schools and communities.

Teresa Poole, WCU’s dean of the School of Education, said, “Our goal is clear—equip educators with the tools to ensure every child in rural communities receives a quality education.”

The MSREA, a chapter of the National Rural Education Association, is co-chaired by ֱ’s Tullos and Patti Permenter, associate director of WCU’s Program of Research and Evaluation for Public Schools.

While ֱ contributes insight to the RSC through such initiatives as the Mississippi Education Policy Fellowship program, which trains professionals with a direct interest in education policy, WCU provides impact with such projects as the “Grow Your Own” partnership, a fast-track education option for high school students wanting to pursue teaching.

For more on the RSC, visit .

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