College of Education & Human Services

Seymour Center Ribbon Cutting
Arlington and Arlene Seymour

Center for Rural Education

Advocacy, Policy, and Research

Honoring its roots as a normal, or teaching, school, Western Illinois University established the Arlington & Arlene Seymour Center for Rural Education for Advocacy, Policy, and Research  – the first center of its kind in Illinois and one of a few in the United States.

The Center for Rural Education (CRE) provides a unique opportunity to serve an area of education far too long overlooked: rural educational settings, which have all too often taken a back seat to issues concerning urban and suburban contexts in advocacy, policy, and research.


  1. Develop a system to expand the teacher applicant pool for rural school districts in our region.
  2. Provide teacher, school, and school district support.
  3. Develop a network through which rural educators in our region can partner with like schools and school districts to collaboratively solve the problems that rural educators face.
  4. Conduct and support research on all areas of rural education. 
  5. Advocate for rural education in general and regional rural educators specifically at the local, regional, state and national level.