About Us

The Rural Teacher Residency is a pathway that bundles the Master’s in Education with a multiple subject or education specialist preliminary credential.

The Rural Teacher Residency is a comprehensive partnership between the University’s School of Education and four high-need rural school districts in northern California designed to improve the preparation of new teachers, to address the needs of rural schools, and to improve the achievement of all students to overcome the Achievement Gap.

The RTR Program combines classroom experience alongside trained Mentor Teachers with graduate coursework at CSU, Chico and a support system of university faculty, school administrators, and other teacher candidates. Residents participate with cohorts of general and special education Residents to cultivate Professional Learning Communities, collaboration, and promote school change. An induction program gives support for new teachers through the first 2 years of teaching. Also, Residents will be placed in cohorts upon completion, facilitating professional collaboration and online professional development communities to provide continued support.

It is a program designed to prepare highly qualified teachers for careers in today’s rural schools. These schools rely increasingly on a culture of inquiry and strong collaboration of grade-level, school-wide and district-wide teams to meet the needs of all learners. Thus, the residents in the RTR Program focus on site-based action research and experience many forms of collaboration: between residents and their mentors, between special and general educators, between school-site faculty and administrative staff, between the School of Education and the partner districts, and between the individual districts.


Rebecca Justeson, EdD
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Dr. Justeson is an associate professor at California State University, Chico. She is currently serving as the director the Rural Teacher Residency Program, a blended credential and master's degree program within the School of Education. She also teaches coursework in the areas of literacy development and educational psychology, and has experience coordinating and supervising in field-based models of teacher preparation. Prior to arriving at CSU, Chico, Justeson served as both a reading specialist and a bilingual elementary school teacher. Her research interests include understanding and developing resilience in all populations, positive psychology, and reading/language arts methods. Rebecca studied positive psychology in the MAPP Program at the University of Pennsylvania, and has also earned degrees in Educational Psychology and Bilingual/Multicultural Education. Additionally, she has experience as a lead trainer, serving in that role for the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT), as a master resilience trainer with the US Army, and as a co-teaching trainer for the School of Education.

Ann Schulte, PhD
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Dr. Schulte teaches courses and/or supervises in the Multiple Subject Credential Program, the Rural Teacher Residency Program, and the Masters in Curriculum and Instruction Program. She has significant experience in middle school teaching, social justice education, and integrated curriculum. Other research and teaching interests include critical reflection, self-study, and classroom action research, in which teachers study their own practice.

Additional Staff:

Joleen Barnhill – CME Grants Coordinator
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Eileen Ross – Project Assistant
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Andrew Nichols – Pre-Program Advisor, Administrative Assistant
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