PDC Helps Create Competency-based Learning Playbooks

Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center (PDC) has embarked on a project that includes facilitating a competency-based education and training initiative with an iLEAD-affiliated high school that supports pregnant and parenting teens in and around Lancaster, Calif.

PDC staff members, including Associate Director of Professional Development Dan Condon, have been instrumental in facilitating a number of initiatives for Empower Generations, including the ongoing creation of a Competency-Based Education Playbook.

Competency-based learning (CBL), which is an approach to teaching and learning of measurable skills rather than abstract learning, is at the core of Empower Generations’ offerings for students pursuing a high school diploma while navigating through new experiences as a result of pregnancy and parenthood. Guided by CBL, students enrolled at the Southern California school focus on what is taught and not on the amount of time spent completing credits. Instead of marinating in a seat for four years, students learning in this particular CBL setting work at their own pace to demonstrate mastery in the competencies necessary for receiving their high school diploma.

In other words, the focus of competency-based learning is on the final outcome and not the journey. This is a huge benefit for independent and adult learners who may be working towards a degree around other schedules.

Specifically, the competency-based learning approach features five core elements:  Continue reading…

Fall 2019 Update from the Eagle Rock Professional Development Center

As we do several times throughout the year, today’s post covers what’s occurring within our Professional Development Center — Eagle Rock’s conduit to working with schools, school districts, and youth service organizations to create healthy, high-functioning learning environments with the aim of improving student engagement across the United States.

As always, the Professional Development Center (PDC) staff — including PDC Director Sarah Bertucci, Associate Director Dan Condon, and Professional Development Associate Anastacia Galloway Reed — are hosting educators here on campus, as well as traveling to schools and events nationally to facilitate school improvement through workshops and training events. They’re also focusing on our own school — Eagle Rock School — to improve its current practices. This trimester, for example, the team of PDC staffers is helping the school evolve its Presentations of Learning as a mechanism to allow students to learn about and contribute to Eagle Rock’s focus on having a national impact. (If you’re unfamiliar with POLs, please read Understanding Eagle Rock’s Presentations of Learning — then, check back here early next year for an update on how our POLs are evolving.)

In the meantime, below is an update focused on all of our current professional development engagements. If you’d like to enquire about engaging with our PDC for a project at your school or organization, please connect with us using the PDC Contact Form on our website.  Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s 79th Trimester Begins with Some Unique Class Offerings

A quick look at a few of the classes available in this, our 79th trimester, shows that Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center continues to stand at the forefront of an approach to education that uniquely encourages students to become actively engaged in their own education.

No cookie-cutter classes here. It’s all about leading our students into a future that they can help develop — free of nonsensical edicts, outmoded education models, and unimaginative curriculum. Here on our mountainside campus in Estes Park, Colo., we put the emphasis on classes that will actually turn out to be helpful and useful once our students step out into the real world.

That being said, feel free to check out the list of class names and descriptions below for the first half of ER 79 (the 79th trimester since our founding in the early-1990s). A second list will appear here a few weeks before Thanksgiving: Continue reading…

We’re Seeking a Director of Curriculum to Start in January 2020

Here at Eagle Rock, we’re kicking off a national search for an experienced academic leader to serve as our next director of curriculum.

This is an exciting position for someone with a proven track record in the classroom, experience coaching and developing teachers, and a passion for working in a small, non-traditional, creative, diverse, learner-centered environment.

Director of Curriculum Search Eagle Rock

Requirements for the position include seven-plus years of teaching experience; a master’s degree in education, school leadership; experience as an instructional coach; and experience in progressive educational models, as well as experience with curricular models that value academic and personal growth. Additionally, residential school experience is highly desirable.

Among the tasks our new director will be focused on are the development and oversight of our academic, learner-centered curriculum, which is closely aligned with Eagle Rock’s  Continue reading…

Meet the Team: Athletics Coordinator Jocelyn Rodriguez

This trimester marks the beginning of Jocelyn Rodriguez’ second year at Eagle Rock, where she formerly served as our Public Allies Fellow in Human Performance. Recently, she was asked to return as a full-time staff member, working in the new adjunct position of Eagle Rock athletic coordinator.

In her now role, Jocelyn is teaching several classes, including Changing the Game, a class that focuses on what it means to be a coach in professional sports. In addition, she is the new house parent for Spruce House.

As the athletics coordinator, Jocelyn continues to sustain our basketball program while also coordinating athletic events for the Eagle Rock community. Earlier this year, we highlighted Jocelyn’s work in this area in a post title ‘MoreThan a Game’ Shines a Light on More Than Basketball.

Jocelyn also now manages Eagle Rock’s Sports Challenge partnership with Strive at Haverford College, and will be attending Sports Challenge next year — a two-week program — with two members of the basketball team at Eagle Rock.

We recently caught up with Jocelyn between Eagle Rock tasks and asked her to fill us in a bit on her work experience, personal life, and some of her favorite things. Here’s what she had to say: Continue reading…