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Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Program

The Rural Reskilling, Upskilling, Next-skilling (R.U.N.) Scholarship Program provides career counseling and tuition support to early childhood professionals in rural communities seeking to reskill, upskill, or next-skill. Wondering what these terms mean? Keep reading to learn more!

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, a part of the American Rescue Plan, delivered $350 billion to state, local, and tribal governments across the country to support their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency. The SLFRF program provides governments across the country with resources needed to:

  • Fight the pandemic and support families and businesses struggling with its public health and economic impacts;
  • Maintain vital public services, even amid declines in revenue resulting from the crisis; and
  • Build a strong, resilient, and equitable recovery by making investments in long-term growth and  opportunity.

On June 23, 2021, Colorado House Bill 21-1264 was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis. The bill appropriated $75 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan through the SLFRF program to support talent development. This Bill created the stimulus investments in reskilling, upskilling, and next-skilling workers program as an initiative of the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) to facilitate training for unemployed and underemployed workers in the state during times of substantial unemployment. This Bill appropriated funds and directed the CWDC to use these funds to support individuals in need of:

  • Reskilling, which supports unemployed and underemployed workers to change industries in order to return to work or obtain more appropriate work based on their skills;
  • Upskilling, which assists workers in increasing skill levels to retain or advance in their employment; or
  • Next-skilling, which supports workers in developing future-ready skills necessary for employment in the twenty-first century.

The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) is an equal opportunity scholarship provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, military status, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in any of its activities or operations. Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students are welcome to apply!

For more information, keep reading or contact Cameron Fall, Scholarship and Career Navigation Coordinator at (720) 899-3048 or by email.


Please find more information about the Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Program in the tabs below. If you would like additional information, please download the Information Flyer. Do you have questions or need support with your Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Application? Click here to schedule a meeting with the Scholarship and Career Navigation Coordinator!

Eligibility Guidelines

Participants must meet the following criteria:

  • Participant meets the age requirement of 16 or older
  • Participant resides in an area covered by the Rural Workforce Consortium
    • Including Eastern Sub-Area, Southeast Sub-Area, Pueblo Sub-Area, Upper Arkansas Sub-Area, South Central Sub-Area, Western Sub-Area, Southwest Sub-Area, Rural Resort Sub-Area, and Northwest Sub-Area (the Broomfield Sub-Area is not an eligible sub-area). Check the map to see if you live in an area covered by the Rural Workforce Consortium!
  • Participant is unemployed and available for work in the early childhood field (this includes those who have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months) OR is currently employed but seeking to move to a job within the early childhood field that provides better opportunities for career advancement
  • Participant can complete their credential within 12 months of the date of being awarded the scholarship
    • Application open until September 1, 2023!
  • Participant experienced an economic loss within the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as lost or adverse changes in employment, increased food or housing insecurity, had to withdraw from college after March 13, 2020, or suffered another form of economic loss OR participant currently qualifies for any of the following federal assistance programs:
    • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
    • Childcare Subsidies through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Program
    • Medicaid
    • National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) – for affordable housing programs only
    • Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) – for affordable housing programs only
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Free and Reduced-Price Lunch (NSLP) and/or School Breakfast (SBP) programs
    • Medicare Part D Low-income Subsidies
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Head Start and/or Early Head Start
    • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
    • Section 8 Vouchers
    • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
    • Pell Grants

Your online application will be submitted using SSL encryption which ensures your application information is 100% secure. Application open until September 1, 2023!

Scholarship Models

The Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Program works with several early childhood credential programs:

Some of the credentials listed above require taking college courses. The Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Program works with all Colorado colleges and universities that offer early childhood certificates. Click on an institution below and it will take you directly to the institution’s Early Childhood website for more information. If an institution is not listed, the institution may not offer any certificates related to early childhood education. Please contact Cameron Fall to discuss.

Colleges & Universities

Supports Offered

Participants will receive a one-time scholarship award applicable towards the cost of their credential. The amount a participant receives is dependent on the credential they wish to pursue. Additionally, participants are offered the following supports:

Apply Now! Application Open Until September 1, 2023!

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