Rural Education Alliance for Leadership Institute (REAL Institute)

About the REAL Institute

The Rural Education Alliance for Leadership (REAL) Institute is designed to help local communities and educational agencies come together in efforts to support the needs of rural schools.

  • Through discussions, forums, and guest speakers, school district teachers and members of the Institute immerse themselves in understanding the challenges rural communities encounter.
  • The REAL Institute serves as a catalyst for change within rural school districts, equipping educators and stakeholders with the necessary tools and resources to enact meaningful action.
  • One of the Institute's central objectives is to facilitate dialogue with key stakeholders, ensuring informed policymaking and educational initiatives tailored to the unique needs of rural areas.

As a school district, you have the opportunity to join as a REAL member, providing access to member benefits for all your employees.  



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Unlock Exclusive Benefits: Membership Perks at a Glance

  • Reduced rate for Act 45 PIL hours
  • 25% tuition discount for all teachers and staff who enroll in Graduate Education, Graduate Business or Division of Professional Studies programs* of REAL member schools 
  • Exclusive invitation to guest lectures
  • Special invitation to legislative forums
  • Workforce development programming
  • Access to online education repository 

To receive the benefits listed above, your school district must enroll as a member of the institute for a two-year period ($500/year). Register below.


*undergraduate online programs only

Engage, Empower, Excel with REAL

Through various initiatives, the REAL Institute actively fosters community engagement and intellectual enrichment by sponsoring diverse activities, from community outreach endeavors to guest speakers.  


Contact Us to Become a REAL Member

Mr. William Marshall,
   Melissa Peppetti,

Or call Linda A. Kline: 814.472.3147  

REAL Institute News


A new high school sport that connects all the students

University Communications & Marketing | 03/25/2024
On the March 10 episode of Kaleidoscope, host Sara Cameron introduced viewers to Unified Bocce Ball, a competitive co-ed high school sport similar to lawn ball that taking hold in the region.

Unified Bocce Ball: A Journey of Unity and Joy 

William W. Marshall, Penn Cambria School District | 01/26/2024
The Penn Cambria School District Superintendent shares the emotional "why" of how he brought an activity that showcases the power of unity and inclusion to his students by partnering with Saint Francis University's Rural Education Alliance for Leadership (REAL) Institute.

SFU's Rural Education Alliance for Leadership Institute Hosts National Expert

University Communications & Marketing | 11/29/2023
Saint Francis University's Rural Education Alliance for Leadership (REAL) Institute invited Dr. Richard Ingersoll, a leading national expert on America’s elementary and secondary teaching force, to address a crowd more than 70 educational leaders on Nov. 16, 2023.

Addressing the Teacher Shortage: SFU and TEACH

Dr. Melissa Peppetti | 05/09/2023
While the teaching crisis impacts all locales, rural schools are having issues finding teachers for specific classes and grade spans, especially the disciplines of math and science. Saint Francis University's Graduate Education Department is committed to improving teacher quality by offering research-based solutions that may serve as viable solutions to the teacher shortage.