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…

Professional Development from Eagle Rock Continues its Blistering Pace

Our staff returned last week from our most recent trimester break, and most Eagle Rock School students are back this week as we kick off what is arguably the best part of the year — summer trimester.

Classes for returning Eagle Rock School students begin on Monday, May 20, while our new incoming class of students is set to arrive on campus on Tuesday, May 21. The following Monday the new students head off for our school’s traditional three-week Wilderness Orientation program that is a requirement for all new Eagle Rock School students.

Not only are we enjoying the bright sunshine and longer days in Colorado, but we are also initiating the school’s 78th trimester — also known as ER 78. And while administrators, staff, instructors and students take on the work of reengaging in education here in Estes Park, our Professional Development Center (PDC) facilitating school improvement workshops throughout the country as well as hosting educators here on campus in Estes Park. In this post, we bring you the latest update on the working engagements of the PDC.

As you can see below, we have listed the schedule of professional development deliveries that we are hosting, participating in, or offering from now until the middle of August. Continue reading…

Marking 5 Years of Professional Development for Ohio Valley’s Related Arts Instructors

Described in simple terms, the Ohio Valley encompasses a series of small towns alongside the Ohio River in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania — all of them heavily dependent on the steel industry.

During my high school years, our nation’s steel industry began to collapse and with it, the economies of many of these riverside communities, among them my own hometown of Weirton, West Virginia. Weirton Steel — our city’s primary employer — fell on hard times and as a result, many families in that town joined others up and down the Ohio River who suffered major economic losses.

Just across the river from my hometown lies Steubenville, Ohio, whosename is derived from Fort Steuben, a 1786 fort that sat within the city’s current limits and was named for German-Prussian military officer Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. Today, a replica of the fort is open to the public (downtown on South Third Street). The city’s other claims to fame are its annual Christmas Nutcracker Village & Advent Market, Dean Martin Festival, and more than 25 murals scattered throughout the city. Steuben is also the county seat of Jefferson County.

As an Ohio Valley native — and with the above as background — I take great pride in the work I’m able to do in this area through a long-time partnership between our Professional Development Center (PDC) and the Jefferson County Education Service Center (ESC).

This educational collaboration started as a Continue reading…

Eagle Rock to Host Council for Aid to Education Training March 14

Early next month, we’ll be opening the doors of our on-campus Professional Development Center for a daylong Council for Aid to Education (CAE) training on Performance-Based Assessments. For a few years now, we’ve been closely associated with the works of this nationwide, non-profit council, which is committed to helping education institutions measure and improve learning outcomes by offering innovative assessments and developing custom tests.

In particular, here at Eagle Rock, we use CAE’s College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA+) alongside more than 300 other schools throughout the country and internationally. The CWRA+ assesses higher-order thinking and written communications skills for students from all walks of life — from the most privileged to the most disengaged.

So, it’s no wonder we were eager to help out when CAE asked us to host the March 14 training from 8:30am-5pm, which is entitled, Performance-Based Assessment Workshop.

The training offers participants the opportunity to Continue reading…