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Colorado Rural Teaching Fellowship

The Colorado Center for Rural Education and the Colorado Department of Higher Education [CDHE] encourage talented teacher candidates to teach in Colorado rural school districts and eventually become teachers in Colorado rural schools. The value of the rural teaching fellowship is $10,000 given to selected candidates who complete a year-long clinical experience in a rural school during the final year of their teacher preparation programs and commit to teaching for the two years in a rural district after completion. Candidates who are selected for this fellowship, Rural Teaching Fellows, receive $5000 from their institute of higher education and $5000 from the Colorado Department of Higher Education as a lump sum (taxable income) or as a scholarship (may interfere with financial aid package) during their final year of licensure preparation. Year-long fellowships are created via partnerships between educator preparation programs and rural Colorado schools/districts/BOCES or charter schools.

Application Requirements

Note: This application differs from all other stipend applications via the Center for Rural Education because educator preparation program leaders submit applications to CDHE on behalf of their candidates and the districts with which they partner. Applications must contain the following documents:

1. One completed agreement per partnership between an educator preparation program and an LEP; and

2. An individual agreement for and signed by each teacher candidate that outlines the financial terms of the fellowship if awarded.

The individual agreement for each teacher candidate needs to be created by the IHE on official letterhead and must include the financial agreement details. This agreement must also include the name of the school, grade level and endorsement area that the candidate will serve for the fellowship year. Each agreement must be signed by the teacher candidate.

Eligible Partnerships

Eligible Partnerships Must Meet the Following Criteria:

  • Rural LEP demonstrates serious need in hiring or retaining teachers and serious financial need that makes provision of any fellowship monies a hardship
  • Agreement between Rural LEP and EPP to design an individualized, one-year teaching fellowship for each fellow, outlining the roles and expectations of both parties including: the fellow section and match with school/ district process, the school's provision of a mentor who is an effective teacher, the LEP's commitment to hire the fellow, and a plan for year-long support and assessment of the fellow.

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates must teach in a Colorado rural school that has critical shortages of qualified teachers to fill elementary and secondary teacher positions. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of total fellowships available, priority may be given to rural schools based on the level of chronic hiring difficulty and financial need demonstrated by the LEP. Priority may also be given to a candidate who resided within the area of the LEP and seeks to return there as a teacher.

Eligible Applicants Must Meet the Following Criteria:

  • Be enrolled in an approved educator  preparation program at a Colorado Institution of Higher Education.
  • Be placed in a year-long clinical teaching experience within a Colorado rural school district for their final year of the preparation program.
  • Be willing to commit to teach for 2 years in the rural school / district of the year-long clinical experience upon completing the preparation program and upon securing a Colorado teaching license.
  • Maintain communications with the Colorado Center of Rural Education and Colorado Department of Higher Education staff during the year-long clinical experience and the 2 years of teaching commitment to share experiences, complete surveys and provide any necessary documentation. 

Definition of Rural School District

For the purposes of this fellowship, the definition of rural schools comes from the Colorado Department of Education.

Application Due Date

Applications for the 2024-2025 school year accepted now until August 15th, 2024. Please submit all materials to Sam Fogleman at the Colorado Department of Higher Education at sam.fogleman@dhe.state.co.us. Please contact Sam with any questions about application materials as well.

View Stipend Handout 

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