Teacher Residency for Rural Education (TRRE)

  • UNH Teaching Residency teacher certification and masters in education candidates for rural schools

Between 2016 and 2021, Teacher Residency for Rural Education (TRRE) offered a graduate M.Ed. program including a 15-month residency program, a community-based internship, and new teacher mentor support. TRRE recruited and prepared people with a desire to become elementary, secondary math or science teachers for students in rural, high-need schools in NH. Thirty-five (35) TRRE graduates now live, learn, volunteer and teach in TRRE partner community schools. 
During the 2021-2022 academic year, TRRE focused on induction support for graduates and school partner districts.

TRRE concluded program activities as of September 30, 2022

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UNH education Department 

Funded in part (2016-2022) by the US Department of Education Teacher Quality Partnership Grant #U336S160019 

TRRE Applications are Closed
UNH Teacher Resident for Rural Education (TRRE) does not anticipate accepting applications in the future; however, The UNH Department of Education welcomes inquiries! Contact  education.department@unh.edu or 603-862-2310.

TRRE Overview - Aidan's Story 


TRRE Residency Program - Graduates' Testimony 


TRRE Focus 2021-2022

TRRE's focus shifted to the induction support of graduates and school partner districts. Initiatives for 2021-2022 include:

  • Science Curriculum Development, Coaching & Networking in partnership with White Mountain Science, Inc.
  • Collaborative for Equitable and Inclusive Practices in Schools
  • Rural Teacher Mentor Network in collaboration with North Country Education Services. 
  • Special Interest Groups - Problems of practice coaching for graduates in 
    • Classroom Climate and Culture with Mike Anderson, Educational Consultant
    • Science Curriculum with WMSI

Rural Teacher Residency Certification Areas

  • Elementary (K-6)
  • Elementary education (K-8) and middle school math
  • Elementary education (K-8) and middle school science
  • Secondary education in math (7-12)
  • Secondary education in science (7-12)
    • Select one of the following:
      | Life Sciences - Biology | Chemistry | 
      | Earth Science | Physics |

TRRE Community Values 


New Teacher Candidate Eligibility

  • Learn more about becoming a teacher at UNH.

  • Contact Teresa Lengyel in the Department of Education

    Actively participate in the community and immerse yourself in a partner school classroom while you complete graduate coursework and pre-service teaching requirements.

    The fifteen-month TRRE program begins in May of the first year and continues through August of the second year. TRRE program coursework and teaching experiences take place in the northern New Hampshire or Lakes region communities with which the program partners.

    • TRRE is an innovative teacher preparation program including graduate coursework, a community internship and a full year residency in a rural school with a mentor teacher.
    • Residents complete an M.Ed. and teacher certification in 15 months. UNH provides professional development and mentor support during the first two years of teaching (induction)
    • Accepted applicants receive 50% in-state tuition discount, $28,000 and a laptop in exchange for teaching for three years in a rural NH partnership school.

    TRRE Program Schedule

    Summer I:
    May -July
    Summer institute includes graduate coursework, school observations, and a community-based internship  to learn about the resources of the communities in which they will teach.

    August -June

    Co-teach for a full year with an experienced mentor teacher, continue graduate coursework and meet regularly as a cohort to integrate experiences from coursework and rural communities into classrooms during the academic year. Residents begin to complete certification requirements.
    Summer II: July Summer institute to complete coursework. Complete teacher certification requirements and search for a position in qualifying NH schools.
    3 Years Post Graduation Following the residency year, graduates of the TRRE program commit to teaching for at least three years in a rural, high-need NH public school. Graduates receive targeted support through the TRRE Induction Program for their first two years as new teachers, and, following this, become members of an network of UNH alumni who continue to collaborate and engage in UNH-sponsored opportunities.

    TRRE Core Courses

    • EDUC 935: Seminar and Practicum in Teaching
    • EDUC 942: Sociocultural Perspectives on Teaching and Learning
    • EDUC 851: Educating Exceptional Learners
    • EDUC 801: Human Development and Learning/Educational Psychology
    • EDUC 885: Introduction to Assessment
    • EDUC 856: Supporting Families of Learners with Exceptionalities
    • EDUC 900/901: Internship and Seminar

    Where do participants co-teach with a mentor, volunteer, and attend classes?

    • Co-teach in a TRRE School Partner with a TRRE Teacher Mentor.
    • Volunteer in a local community based organization in a thirty hour internship organized through TRRE.
    • Attend classes for graduate coursework at a central location based on the current cohort distribution across the state. No commute to UNH in Durham!

    School District Partners

    Community-Based Internship Partners

    • 4-H, UNH Cooperative Extension in Belknap and Coӧs Counties
    • A Mountain Classroom - Appalachian Mountain Club
    • Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country
    • Boys & Girls Club of the North Country & Lakes Region
    • Colonel Town Recreation Center
    • Family Resource Center
    • Goodwin Public Library
    • Groveton Recreation Center
    • Groveton Summer Food Program
    • Laconia Library
    • North Country Community Rec. Center
    • North Country Education Services (NCES)
    • North Country Listens
    • Nutrition Connections, UNH Cooperative Extension
    • Pittsfield Listens
    • Pittsfield Youth Workshop
    • Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center
    • Tin Mountain Conservation Center
    • White Mountains Science Inc. (WMSI)
    • William D. Weeks Memorial Library
    • WMRHS Futures Camp

    TRRE rests on three instructional pillars designed to set the foundation for learning, teaching, and living in rural NH communities.

    Content and Pedagogy that are integrated with intensive clinical placements in schools, where residents:

    • Acquire strong mathematics and science content and pedagogical knowledge to meet rigorous academic standards
    • Use data to inform instruction
    • Apply concepts of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

    Clinical Strength, where residents participate in experiences that build their social capital in and local knowledge of community contexts. Residents will:

    • Engage in an initial field placement
    • Develop knowledge and skills to teach in rural schools through a full year residency
    • Participate in an induction program for two years following residency

    Community and Family Competence in Rural Teaching, providing a core curricular emphasis on learning to leverage rural family and community "funds of knowledge" to support student engagement and achievement. Residents will:

    • Build on the assets of the rural communities through an out-of-school placement with a community-based agency or organization
    • Address the interests and commitments of the rural communities
    • Integrate in- and out-of-school resources and learning opportunities

    Management Team

    Leslie Couse, Program Director/Principal Investigator
    Leslie is Principal Investigator of the Teacher Residency for Rural Education Project (TRRE) and Professor of Education at the University of New Hampshire. Her expertise lies in preparing teachers for inclusive early education settings through interdisciplinary collaboration with parents, teachers, and service providers.  Through community partnerships she researches inclusive preservice and in-service teacher education, leadership development, and the use of technology in early education.  She is the Project Director for two U.S. Department of Education grant funded projects. Growing up on an 8thgeneration family farm in upstate NY. Leslie developed an appreciation of rural living, family connections, and the value of traditions.

    Emilie Reagan, Co-Principal Investigator
    Emilie is the TRRE Co-Principal Investigator. She collaborated with the TRRE team to: (1) design and implement the TRRE program; (2) recruit and select residents; (3) communicate with partners; and (4) conduct research to inform the program. Emilie also taught (2017-2020) the Introduction to Assessment course to the teaching residents. Emilie is an Associate Professor of Education at Claremont Graduate University in California. Her research focuses on teacher education policy and practice. Prior to moving to California, Emilie's professional experience included work as an Assoicate Professor in the Education Department at the University of New Hampshire and the Teaching Residents @ Teachers College, Columbia University program in New York City. 

    Jen Baker, Program Coordinator
    Jennifer completed her M.Ed. and intital NH teacher certification in a cohort model program in 2009 at Lesley University. She worked in a variety of roles in Seacoast area public schools: Title I tutor, one-on-one special education aide, grade-level education associate and substitute teacher. In her search for full-time employment, Jen came to UNH in 2014 as a program developer for the Professional Development & Training (PD&T) program where she was responsible for planning non-credit professional development seminars and conferences. In 2016 and 2017 the NH Educators' Summer Summit came to the UNH Department of Education, PD&T collaborated on the project and Jen coordinated logistics for the event. Jen joined the UNH Education Department when the TRRE Coordinator position became available in June 2018. She and her family have been in New Hampshire for the last 20 years.

    Marie Collins, Graduate Assistant
    Marie started a Ph.D. at UNH in Education in Curriculum & Instruction in fall 2019. Most recently she was working as a grade 4 classroom teacher and inquiry coach at the International Community School in Cote D'Ivoire, and the American International School in Nigeria. Marie works with Kathryn McCurdy, the Director of Mentoring and Induction, to develop modules on classroom management for TRRE graduates, and with the Universal Design for Learning Collaborative Autoethnography research team. Marie also serves as a TRRE Cohort 4 Faculty-in-Residence to support TRRE graduates in their first year of teaching.

    Emilie Coppinger, Director of Community Engagement
    Emilie is a doctoral student in the education department, with the specialization Children and Youth in Communities, as well as a graduate assistant for the TRRE program. While completing her M.Ed. in Educational Studies at UNH, she became involved in research within a rural community in Nepal where she explored the perceptions of local grade-school teachers toward the integration of technology in their classrooms. This research opened Emilie's eyes to the incredibly valuable local knowledge that can go unnoticed or unappreciated in rural communities around the world. Emilie recently lead a Kids' Club in a Portsmouth Housing Authority community for a couple years and became interested in exploring the partnerships that exist between schools and community organizations to support the learning and development of students, especially those identified as high-needs. Consequently, Emilie is very excited to help support the TRRE program in its mission to prepare teachers for rural, high-need schools through research, community engagement and recruitment.

    Tom Higginbotham, Director of Science Education (2016-2021)
    Tom was the Director of Science Education for TRRE, and is a postdoctoral research and teaching associate at UNH. A diversity of experiences and settings have marked his career in education. His wife’s medical training has taken them around the country, and they are finally settled in New Hampshire, where they originally met many moons ago. Tom has taught outdoor education, secondary science and math, and served for over a decade as a school administrator in both primary and secondary schools. Along the way, he earned his Ph.D. from Boston College in Curriculum & Instruction, focusing on gender issues in the K-12 science classroom and on educational technology and has worked as a consultant for school leaders, focusing on Common Core Standards (both math and ELA). Most recently, Tom taught science methods, educational technology, and general science content classes at another NH university. Tom joined the TRRE project not only because it offered an ideal blend of research and teaching, but also because the project’s outcomes are so important and resonate so strongly with his beliefs about the importance of recognizing and honoring local knowledge. And he has a strange talent for remembering the scientific names of plants that he learned 25 years ago.

    Bryan Mascio, TRRE Faculty in Residence 
    Bryan is a Teaching Faculty at Plymouth State University. As TRRE Faculty-in-Residence, Bryan works with TRRE school partner districts participating in the Collaborative for Equitable and Inclusive Pracitces in Schools. His main responsibilities during the residency years were: to establish and maintain partnerships with schools and districts in rural regions of NH including the Lakes Region, the North Country, and other high need areas; conduct research on teacher learning, development, and practice; and teach graduate courses to TRRE teaching residents.  Bryan completed his Educational Doctorate in Human Development and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), where he also earned a master’s degree in Mind Brain and Education. During his studies his primary research focused on the social-emotional-cognitive skills of teaching and the development of those complex skills. He continues his work with schools to support the development of those skills and their application to teachers’ and students’ learning and growth. In addition, his other areas of interest and expertise are the methodology of portraiture, development of survey scales, student and teacher social emotional learning, application of complexity thinking to education, and the intersection of teacher professionalism and school improvement.  At UNH, Bryan previously completed programs in Applied Animal Science, Adult and Occupational Education, and Special Education. Prior to making the difficult decision to leave his classroom to pursue his work at HGSE, Bryan was a teacher for 12 years in various NH schools primarily working with students who had been unsuccessful in traditional school settings. Bryan and his wife both grew up in NH, and even lived in UNH married housing for a few years prior to buying Bryan’s childhood home in Kingston almost 20 years ago.  

    Kathryn McCurdy, Director of Induction
    Kathryn is the Director of Induction and Mentoring for the Teacher Residency for Rural Education project. She also is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Education Department at UNH where she serves as the Director of Educator Preparation. Both her practical expertise and research backgrounds are in the field of beginning teacher learning, mentoring, and induction. In her role as Director of Induction, Kathryn is working with the TRRE Management Team and school partners to develop a program that will support TRRE graduates in their first two years of teaching through mentoring, virtual networks, and continued professional development. As a former middle school math teacher, Kathryn taught Exploring Mathematics with Young Children for TRRE residents.

    View UNH Bio

    Sharon McCrone, Director of Mathematics Education (2016-2021)
    Sharon serves on the TRRE Advisory Board and is the Associate Dean in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at UNH. She was the director of Mathematics Education for the TRRE project. As a professor of Mathematics Education with more than 10 years of experience in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, her main areas of interest in research and teaching are in mathematical reasoning at all grade levels; teaching and learning high school mathematics; and teacher preparation, specifically mathematical knowledge for teaching. As the Director of Mathematics Education for the TRRE Program at UNH, she acted as the (1) Liaison to the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, (2) Supported resident recruitment and networking across NH and New England, and (3) Participated in curriculum development, teaching, and oversight of mathematics and mathematics education courses, specifically, developing online and hybrid courses and streamlining current course content.

    Laura Nickerson, Induction Mentor
    Laura is a STEM Induction Mentor for TRRE. Her primary role at UNH is Director of the STEM Teachers' Collaborative, a UNH interdisciplinary effort to coordinate and strengthen STEM education. She received a B.S. in Physics from Valparaiso University and an M.S. in Physics from Northern Illinois University. With the exception of one year as a fellow at the Wright Center for Science Education at Tufts University, Laura spent seventeen years in public and private high school classrooms teaching physics, engineering, astronomy, programming, and other STEM subjects. Most recently she taught at Windham H.S. in Windham, NH.

    Tom Schram, Director of Pedagogy and Clinical Experience
    Tom Schram retired from the UNH Education Department as an Associate Professor in Education with over 30 years experience in January 2022. As the TRRE Director of Pedagogy and Clinical Experience from 2016-2021, Tom assisted in: (1) the selection of residents, (2) guided and supervised clinical experiences, (3) coordinated selection of residency schools, (4) coordinated selection and training of teaching mentors, supervisors, and course instructors, and (4) oversaw curriculum design and development and teaching the yearlong residency seminar. Tom served as a resident supervisor up in the North Country from 2017 to 2021 and continues in spring 2022 as Faculty-in-Residence up in the North Country as an on-site induction mentor and advisor for TRRE Cohort 4 graduates. In this role, he will be visiting the residents in their classrooms on a regular basis as an advisor.

    Allie Tompkins, Graduate Assistant
    Allie started the Ph.D. in Education with a focus on the Children and Youth in Communities in Fall 2019. Originally from Derry New Hampshire, Allie has most recently worked supervising teachers and paraprofessionals at a center for students with autism in a public school in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. She is interested in researching the links between community and school support systems for students with autism and their families. Allie works with Bryan Mascio, TRRE Lakes Region Faculty in Residence, to facilitate conversations about Social Emotional Learning and ways to incorporate it into the TRRE curriculum.  Allie will continue the social emotional learning conversations with TRRE school partners during the 2021-2022 year as program coordinator of the Collaborative for Equitable and Inclusive Practices in Schools in collaboration with Bryan Mascio.

    UNH Partners

    Community Partners

     Advisory Board

    • Marion Anastasia, Superintendent, SAU 36 – White Mountains
    • Jennifer Baker, TRRE Program Coordinator
    • Angel Burke, Academic Coordinator for Teaching and Learning
    • Bill Church, Executive DirectorWhite Mountains Science, Inc.
    • Leslie Couse, Professor and ChairUNH Department of Education
    • Brett Gibson, Associate Dean, UNH College of Liberal Arts
    • A. Lin Goodwin, DeanUniversity of Hong Kong
    • Danielle Harvey, Dean of Instruction, Pittsfield School District
    • Melissa Jellison, Teacher, SAU 36 – White Mountains Regional High School
    • Mike Kelley, Principal, SAU 3 - Berlin Middle Senior High School
    • Julie King, Superintendent, SAU 3, Berlin
    • Lori Langlois, Executive Director, North Country Education Services (NCES)
    • Sharon McCrone, Interim Associate Dean, UNH College of Engineering and Physical Science, Professor of Mathematics Education
    • Andrea Muller, North Country Youth Education DirectorAppalachian Mountain Club (AMC)
    • Laura Nickerson, Director, STEM Teachers’ CollaborativeUNH Leitzel Center and TRRE Induction Mentor
    • Lisa Perras, Principal, SAU 58, Groveton High School
    • Emilie Reagan, Assistant ProfessorUNH Department of Education
    • Tom Schram, Associate ProfessorUNH Department of Education
    • Mike Seidel, Director of the Division of Higher Education, New Hampshire Department of Education
    • Mike Young, Program Team Leader – Youth and Family, UNH Cooperative Extension

    Peer-Reviewed Publications (Articles and Chapters)

    Fornauf, B., Mascio, B. (2021, April). Extending DisCrit: A Case of Universal Design for Learning and Equity in a Rural Teacher Residency. Race, Ethnicity, & Education.

    Fornauf, B. S., Higginbotham, T., Mascio, B., McCurdy, K., & Reagan, E. M. (2020). Analyzing Barriers, Innovating Pedagogy: Applying Universal Design for Learning in a Teacher Residency. The Teacher Educator, 1-18.

    Reagan, E. M., Hambacher, E., Schram, T., McCurdy, K., Lord, D., Higginbotham, T., Fornauf, B. (2019). Place matters: Review of the literature on rural teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 80, 83-93. ​

    Vernikoff, L., Schram, T., Reagan, E.M., Horn, C., Goodwin, A.L., Couse, L.J. (2019). Beyond urban or rural: Field based experiences for teaching residencies in diverse contexts (pp.256-279). In T. Hodges & A. Baum (Eds.) Handbook of Research on Field-based Teacher Education. Hershey, PA:  IGI Global. ISBN 9781522562498. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6249-8.ch011​

    Reagan, E.M., Coppens, A., Couse, L. J., Hambacher, E., Lord, D., Silva-Pimentel, D. (2018). Toward a Conceptual Framework for Designing and Implementing the Teacher Residency for Rural Education. In R.M. Reardon & J. Leonard (Eds.) Innovation and Implementation in Rural Places: School-University-Community Collaboration in Education (pp. 81-106). Charlotte, NC:  Information Age Publishers, Inc.​

    Engaged Scholarship

    Tompkins, A., Collins, M., Mascio, B., Fornauf, B. (2022, June). The Ongoing Journey to Equitable Practices. [Blog] Shanker Blog: Albert Shanker Institute, Washington, D.C.


    Fornauf, B., Collins, M., Higginbotham, T., Mascio, B., McCurdy, K., Reagan, E.M. (2021, April). Tensions in Operationalizing Universal Design for Learning: A Collaborative Autoethnography of a Teacher Residency.  Paper accepted as part of E.M. Reagan (Chair), Inquiry and Evidence in a Rural Teacher Residency Program [Paper Symposium] New England Educational Research Organization, Portsmouth, NH.

    Mascio, B., Fornauf, B. (2021, April). UDL and Discrit: A Joint Path Preparing Rural Teachers to Teach Underserved Students.  In K. Kehoe (Chair), An Ecological Perspective on Supporting At-Risk Readers in Rural Elementary Schools [Paper Symposium] Society for Research in Child Development.

    McCurdy, K., Connelly, V., Reagan, E.M. (2021, April). Induction Network Analysis In A Rural Teacher Residency Program.  In E.M. Reagan (Chair), Inquiry and Evidence in a Rural Teacher Residency Program [Paper Symposium] New England Educational Research Organization, Portsmouth, NH.

    Fornauf, B., Collins, M., Higginbotham, T., Mascio, B., McCurdy, K., Reagan, E.M. (2021, April). Tensions in Operationalizing Universal Design for Learning: A Collaborative Autoethnography of a Teacher Residency.  Paper accepted as part of E.M. Reagan (Chair), Inquiry and Evidence in a Rural Teacher Residency Program [Paper Symposium] New England Educational Research Organization, Portsmouth, NH.
    Mascio, B., Fornauf, B. (2021, April). UDL and Discrit: A Joint Path Preparing Rural Teachers to Teach Underserved Students.  In K. Kehoe (Chair), An Ecological Perspective on Supporting At-Risk Readers in Rural Elementary Schools [Paper Symposium] Society for Research in Child Development.
    McCurdy, K., Connelly, V., Reagan, E.M. (2021, April). Induction Network Analysis In A Rural Teacher Residency Program.  In E.M. Reagan (Chair), Inquiry and Evidence in a Rural Teacher Residency Program [Paper Symposium] New England Educational Research Organization, Portsmouth, NH.

    Reagan, E.M., Coppinger, E., Fornauf, B., Mascio, B., Thompkins, A. (2021, April). Assets of Place: Examining Preservice Teachers’ Discourses of Place and Rurality. Paper accepted at American Educational Research Association. Paper also accepted as part of E.M. Reagan (Chair), Inquiry and Evidence in a Rural Teacher Residency Program [Paper Symposium] New England Educational Research Organization, Portsmouth, NH.

    Mascio, B. McCurdy, K., Reagan, E.M., Fornauf, B., Higginbotham, T. & Collins, M. (2020, March). Goals, barriers, and implementation: The why and how of Universal Design for Learning. Presentation at the annual conference of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Atlanta, GA.

    Couse, L. J., Huang, Y. P., Erwin, K., Knight, D. (2020, February). Sustainable Rural Teacher Residencies: The Teacher Quality Partnership Grant, American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. Atlanta GA. 

    Fornauf, B., Higginbotham, T., McCurdy, K., Mascio, B., Reagan, E.M. (2019, May). Analyzing Barriers, Enabling Inclusive Pedagogy: A Collaborative Autoethnography of a Teacher Residency Program. Paper presented at New England Educational Research Organization, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

    Couse, L.J. & Mascio, B. (2019, February). UNH Teacher Residency for Rural Education: Rural Students: Forgotten Minority. Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Baltimore, MD. 

    Fornauf, B. Higginbotham, T., McCurdy, K., Reagan, E.M., (2018, November) Conceptualizing, Operationalizing, and Implementing Universal Design for Learning in a Teacher Residency Program: A Collaborative Autoethnography. Conference: From Novice to Expert: Implementing UDL Across Academic Disciplines at Goodwin College, East Harford, CT.

    Couse, L.J., Foehr, L., & Liu, E. (2018). Practitioner Panel. Equity and Diversity in Teacher Preparation: Learning form Research and Practice. Regional Education Laboratory Northeast and Islands of the Institute for Education Sciences, Waltham MA.

    Couse, L.J., & Higginbotham, T. (2018, March). Integrating Community Engagement into a Teacher Residency: Guiding Threads of Community Competence. Teacher Quality Partnership Reunion Meeting at American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education Annual Conference, Baltimore MD.

    Vernikoff, L., Reagan, E.M., Couse, L.J., Goodwin, A.L., Horn, C. & Schram, T. (2018, February).  Beyond Urban or Rural: Effective clinical practices for teaching residencies in diverse contexts - Teacher Residency for Rural Education (New Hampshire) and Teaching Residents @ Teachers College (New York City). Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), Baltimore, MD. 

    In June 2019, TRRE held the first Community Connection Series conference for professional development on Universal Design for Learning. Next year, June 2020, TRRE will host the Community Connections Series focused on Social Emotional Learning. 


    Teaching Mentor and TRRE Resident working

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    TRRE Huggers: Love at First Sight

    AMC Naturalists make the White Mountains Home through UNH TRRE

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    Secondary Science Teacher in class

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    Story by Daniela Allee

    UNH Program Aims to Recruit and Retain More Math, Science Teachers in the North Country

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