Boosting Idaho Rural Students’ College Prospects by Expanding Access to Great Teaching

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Improving teacher quality in college preparatory courses has great potential to raise rural Idaho students’ low college enrollment rate. Only 80 percent of rural Idaho students graduate from high school—and only 51 percent enroll in college. One critical factor contributing to low college-going rates in Idaho is the lack of rigorous preparation students need to succeed in college and career. In this paper written for the Rural Opportunities Consortium of Idaho, Public Impact® examines the challenges that prevent rural schools from providing great teaching, and presents four strategies for increasing access to highly effective instruction in rural Idaho. Through a combination of grow-your-own preparation programs, customized teacher recruitment strategies, innovative approaches to extending the reach of excellent teachers, and blended online and in-person methods for teacher training, Idaho can improve teacher quality in college preparatory courses.

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