Small Towns, big impact

What We Do

Our impact reaches students, families, superintendents, teachers, business and communities.

Students and Families

Young people deserve real choices when it comes to where they live and how they work. We prepare students for college and career success, increasing their earning potential and expanding their options. We believe:


All means ALL

EVERY student deserves a life of choice, prosperity, productivity, and self actualization.


Education is a lifelong endeavor

We’re here for our students from the moment they set foot in a Pre-K classroom to the day they graduate from college & launch their careers. Our alumni stay connected to CEN, often mentoring the next generation of students.

Superintendents and Teachers

Small-town educators are passionate about improving outcomes for their students—and it is not easy to access the resources they need to do so. Here’s how we help:



We help rural districts access and navigate resources for dual credit programs, work- and project-based learning, 1:1 student support, professional development, additional funding, and more.



We develop and distribute initiatives designed specifically for rural schools, including Edu-Businesses and local STEM research.


Peer Networks

We harness the power of our network for collective purchasing, legislative voice, and peer sharing. Together, we’re helping rural districts innovate, collaborate, and catalyze change for their community.

Businesses & Communities

CEN connects talented young people to local industries through place-based research and work-based learning, strengthening the bond between communities and schools and creating new pathways for rural economic growth.


Rural Roots

CEN was developed in rural communities, for rural communities. We understand the unique challenges and defining strengths of small towns.


2-Way Engagement

CEN schools invite the community to participate actively in the school, through guest lectures, research projects, internships, and advising on program design.


Local Talent Development

Local employers mentor and train the next generation, reducing rural “brain drain” and sidestepping the difficulties of attracting and retaining new talent.

How We Help

We take a comprehensive approach to education, engaging whole communities in an effort that continues from the first day of Pre-K to the launch of a meaningful career.

Collegiate Edu-Nation

Download our Playbook

An introductory guide for superintendents, principals, academic leaders, and board members of rural school districts in the CEN network.

With your help we can equip and empower young people in rural communities

to build a future with more opportunity, prosperity, and impact.

Our Special Programs

CEN Texas Regional Pathways Network

CEN is excited to serve as the intermediary in two Texas Regional Pathways Networks.

CEN TWC Youth Robotics Program

In May, CEN received notice of a grant award of $575,000 from the Texas Workforce Commission to help nine schools in the CEN network create or expand a robotics program.


In June, CEN received notice that we would be receiving a grant award in the amount of $402,741 from AmeriCorps to help eleven schools in the CEN network implement our proven model.

CEN Registered Apprenticeship Program

The CEN Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) is a combination of On-the-Job Training (OJT) and Related Technical Instruction (RTI) in which the apprentice learns the practice, theoretical aspects and concepts of the occupation.