Support for Rural Teachers & Teachers of Color

Beavers and lodge

Bemidji State University’s Department of Professional Education received grant funding to recruit and support future teachers. This includes adding a high school concurrent enrollment course and funding to support teacher candidates of color. We would like to express our gratitude to the Collaborative Urban and Greater Minnesota Educators of Color Grant (CUGMEC) and the Rural Schools Collaborative Grant. These grants will be implemented under the new Amikwiish initiative to support rural teachers and teachers of color. Amikwiish is an Ojibwe word meaning a beaver lodge.



Concurrent Enrollment for High School Juniors & Seniors

Bemidji State University was one of five universities across the nation to be awarded a $25,000 Catalyst Initiative Grant from Rural Schools Collaborative for the intentional recruitment, training, and sustaining of rural educators. In Fall 2024, an Introduction to Education course will be offered for high school juniors and seniors in rural Minnesota. The hybrid model of the course will bring students to campus for the first and last days of the semester and university faculty will teach the remaining sessions online (asynchronously). Grant funding will cover transportation costs to and from campus, meals on campus, and textbooks and learning materials. A unique feature of this course offering is the teacher candidate and classroom teacher mentorship provided for students throughout the semester.

For information about the concurrent enrollment process at Bemidji State University, please contact Lynn Johnson at For questions about the grant-funded course and program, please contact Kathrina O’Connell at

Current Teacher Candidate Support

Bemidji State University has been awarded funding through the Collaborative Urban and Greater Minnesota Educators of Color (CUGMEC) grant to recruit and support diverse teacher candidates currently enrolled at local tribal and two-year colleges as well as candidates enrolled at Bemidji State University. Recipients will receive up to $3,700 of direct support per academic year and will participate in a comprehensive mentorship and advising program. Students will also have access to cultural activities and mentorship opportunities offered through the BSU American Indian Resource Center. This program is designed to create a welcoming, inclusive, and accessible environment for American Indian students and other Persons of Color pursuing a degree in teacher education.

Apply Today for CUGMEC Funding