The Rural Education Institute (REI) was developed to increase awareness of the unique strengths and needs of rural schools in eastern North Carolina. In 1984 the North Carolina General Assembly appropriated funds for the continuation of East Carolina University’s Rural Education Institute and established a counterpart at Western Carolina University. These two institutions comprise the Rural Education Network for the State of North Carolina.
In July 2002, the Rural Education Institute reorganized to align the institute with several national organizations and universities that focus on rural education issues. As the College of Education (COE) continues to increase visibility and to amplify the impact of the college on the region, state, and beyond, REI will be a critical unit in continuing to accomplish the college’s mission.