AEE Accreditation Council Meets at Eagle Rock

For the third time in as many years, the Association for Experiential Education’s (AEE) Accreditation Council recently held its mid-year meeting here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center in Estes Park, Colo. The association, which was founded in the summer of 1977 right here in Colorado, has become the leading accrediting body for organizations that utilize adventure-based experiential education.

AEE’s Accreditation Council – May 2019 (Image courtesy of Steve Pace)

AEE’s accreditation standards, which were first proposed in the early 1990s, are now expressed in six distinct areas:

  1. Philosophical, Educational, and Ethical Principles
  2. Program Governance
  3. Program Management, Operations, and Oversight
  4. Technical Activities – Land
  5. Technical Activities – Water
  6. Non-Technical Activities

Since February of 1995 — when the Accreditation Council awarded the organization’s first seals of approval to the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and Project Adventure — AEE’s highly sought-after accreditation has become the standard by which all adventure-based programs are judged.

During the three-and-a-half-day meeting, which took place from May 31 to June 3 in our on-campus Professional Development Center, council members covered a number of topics, including: 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…

Summer 2018 Professional Development Center Update

Editor’s Note: Whenever the summer months begin to make themselves known, you can be certain Eagle Rock School’s Professional Development Center (PDC) staff is fully immersed in working with schools and learning organizations throughout the United States with the mandate of helping engage students in their own education.

Our knowledgeable Professional Development staff is on a tight schedule that continues through the summer months, visiting teachers and administrators at high schools in cities across the nation. For a quarter of a century, our PDC staff has been tasked with facilitating high-functioning oases of education — one school at a time.

Below is the ambitious schedule for Summer 2018 that includes areas where we’ve already met with educators and what’s on the agenda for the remainder of the summer season. The schedule was painstakingly prepared by Sebastian Franco, our 2017/2018 Public Allies Fellow in Professional Development.

MAY 2018

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May 10

Toronto High School, Toronto, Ohio: Toronto High School, part of the Toronto City Schools, provides various enrichment opportunities for students, including Destination Imagination, science fairs, and the debate team. The district offers more than 30 semester hours of college credit as it prepares students for post-secondary education. Eagle Rock Professional Development Associate Anastacia Galloway Reed and Professional Development Center Public Allies Fellow Sebastian Franco conducted an asset observation throughout various classrooms, based on the Universal Design for Learning model.

May 10

Estes Park School District (EPSD), Estes Park, Colo.: The EPSD is in charge of all education programs in the Estes Valley area and its focus is to prepare students to shine as citizens in a world that is increasingly diverse and technological. Professional Development Associate Sarah Bertucci  worked on essential learning outcomes with the school district’s superintendent and teacher leaders on the district’s Global Outcomes team.

May 11

I Have a Dream Foundation (IHAD), Boulder, Colo.: iHAD of Boulder provides support and resources to high school students by helping them graduate and achieve their dreams of attending college. Most students in the program have the opportunity to Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Included in ‘Learning Through Experience’ Website

When it comes to adventure-based experiential education, Eagle Rock can be counted among the leading progressive high schools in the nation. Appropriately located adjacent to the 415-square-mile Rocky Mountain National Park, our sprawling campus provides not only a location, but a starting off point for a number of adventures that, when combined with education and service, provide our youth with a student-based, rather than faculty-based experience.

Recognizing our unique role and approach, Eagle Rock is among 200 or so providers listed in a new online resource recently published by the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) — http://learnthroughexperience.org. If you’re unfamiliar with AEE, it is a not-for-profit membership-based organization that advocates for the outdoor and adventure-based experiential education industry. Among its offerings are regional and international conferences, a robust publishing program that includes the Journal of Experiential Education, and an accreditation program that identifies, publishes and upholding standards to improve professional practice in the field of experiential education.

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As an AEE accredited program, Eagle Rock is proud to be listed in the Learning Through Experience directory, which helps consumers find Continue reading…

Eagle Rock School is looking for an Adjunct Outdoor Education Instructor

One of the current positions we’re recruiting for is titled Outdoor Education Adjunct Instructor. It’s a job we imagine would appeal to anyone who loves working in the outdoors, especially with diverse adolescents from backgrounds that haven’t afforded them the opportunity to experience the healing and generative nature of the outdoors or a unique and supportive community like ours.

Eagle Rock Outdoor Education Adjunct Instructor2

Not a lot of classroom time required here. In fact, most of the job requires extensive time with underserved youth in the open air, surrounding by mountains, meadows and meandering streams.

And while that admittedly sounds like an outdoor professional’s dream, there’s a ton of administrative prep work involved in this position. For instance, just preparing for the Eagle Rock School New Student Wilderness Orientation Course begins with planning and coordination among various Eagle Rock team members in the areas of logistics, instruction and course directing.

There’s also the task of assisting with the complex technical components of adventure-based classes — again including logistics support. In addition, there’s equipment and food inventory, activity risk management and training, climbing wall training, curriculum development, and assisting us with our ongoing accreditation documentation through the Association for Experiential Education (AEE).

Oh, and then there’s a solid amount of time spent with our veteran students and Continue reading…