Dr. Jennifer Collins, assistant director of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, was recently named to the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance board of directors as its new higher education representative.
“WiRSA is very excited to have Dr. Collins on the WiRSA Board,” said Kim Kaukl, executive director of WiRSA. “We look forward to her sharing her knowledge on rural education. We also look forward to working with her and UW-Platteville on ways to improve the rural teacher pipeline for rural schools in Wisconsin.”
“I am honored to serve as WiRSA’s new higher education representative,” said Collins. “Seeing the challenges facing our rural schools, the School of Education is in the midst of modifying our strategic plan to focus on the development of rural teachers. We believe that our location in Southwest Wisconsin and the demographics of the students we recruit, graduate and send back out into their rural communities makes us a logical choice to take on such an endeavor.”
“That being said, the creation of such a program cannot just happen within our four walls,” added Collins. “Being part of this board will help me expand my understanding of the issues facing rural schools, collaborate and build relationships with district administrators, teachers and schools across the state, and build a network that can impact how we develop future rural educators who’ll need to demonstrate the flexibility, high level of academic acumen and staying power necessary to positively impact the academic achievement of our K-12 rural students.”
The WiRSA was formed “to help rural school districts address the unique issues that affect rural schools as they seek to achieve the highest quality education for every student.” Its members include “a cross section of educators, school board members, rural community members, business leaders and other concerned individuals who want a strong voice for rural schools.” The organization is supported by the Wisconsin Cooperative Education Services Agency districts, UW System, UW-Oshkosh and rural school districts.