Office of Civic Engagement

Rural Partnerships

33,000 Square Miles of Opportunity: How the University & Region Strengthen Each Other

Partnerships with our North State communities are examples of innovative pedagogical research and practice. Number Four in the Strategic Plan calls us to serve the needs of the region where it states, “Embedding a regional orientation into our daily campus life and connecting our work to the needs and quality of a democratic society enacts a powerful affirmation: we are an American university and we are ‘the University of the North State’.” Specifically within that plank of the strategic plan, it states that this orientation will include partnerships that will strengthen the region’s social fabric and build alliances in order to meet critical regional and state workforce needs, support K-12 schooling, and strengthen our capacity to foster leadership development. Some of these initiatives are occurring right now and there is a propensity to do more. Expanding our connections to communities in our region can result in many positive outcomes.

In 2016, in an effort to better serve the entire North State region, and interdisciplinary Rural Partnerships group was formed by University staff and faculty who are involved in initiatives with rural communities in our service area, or who are interested in pursuing this type of work. The group is led by Ann Schulte, Faculty Fellow for Rural Partnerships, and regularly meets during the academic year to gather and share information, build rural partnerships, and discuss opportunities for collaboration in continuation of service to north state communities. If you are interested in participating in this group, contact Ann at

The mission of this work is to leverage Chico State students, staff, and faculty in reciprocal and interdisciplinary partnerships around the self-defined issues of the North State communities

Three goals serve this mission:

  • To engage North State students on campus in their home or regional communities
  • To educate the campus community about the assets and capacities of the North State
  • To provide increased experiential, community-based learning opportunities for students

Formal partnerships that have resulted from the work of this group include:

Regional initiatives engaged in partnerships with CSU Chico include, but are not limited to:

  • Expect More Tehama(opens in new window) is a grassroots initiative started in 2009 in Tehama County that promotes increased educational attainment and college going culture that will support improved economic and community development in the region. You can read a copy of their most recent report (PDF) that outlines their programs and successes to date.
  • Similar to Expect More Tehama, Reach Higher Shasta(opens in new window) facilitates programs to ensure Shasta County youth are ready for kindergarten, motivated and supported through elementary, middle and high school, and assisted in the transition to career training or college. They have a program called Career Connections(opens in new window) that connects area youth to internships and job shadow opportunities.

Examples of other campus degree programs or centers involved in programming specifically to rural counties in the region include:

Geographical Information Center

College of Agriculture Agribusiness Institute(opens in new window)

Center for Healthy Communities

Center for Economic Development(opens in new window)

School of Business in Redding(opens in new window)

School of Social Work Distributed Learning Program

Rural Northern California Clinical Simulation Center

This page is newly developed and continuing to grow. If you have suggestions for additional links for this page, please contact Ann Schulte at