We’re in the Market for a Great Guidance Counselor

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Most educational institutions set aside time for graduating seniors to meet with a counselor to discuss their future ambitions, and most of these advisers do a good job of pointing grads toward a suitable college that they can afford or a promising vocation based on their interests.

But here at the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, we go a little overboard when it comes to assisting in the future planning of our students.

DSC_2710_BThat’s because most of our students initially found success elusive at their previous school, and we’re bound and determined to make that a non-issue in their future lives. We care about each other’s success, our student’s experience, and we work hard to constantly innovate.

Which is exactly why we’re advertising for a new guidance counselor to assist our students in planning for their futures. We don’t even call these folks “guidance counselors.” In fact, the job title reads, “Life After Eagle Rock Instructional Specialist,” or LAER IS, if you’re into awkward acronyms.

Truth be told, a position at Eagle Rock isn’t for everyone. We add new meaning to the term non-traditional, and our “classroom setting” extends way past the final bell and into the evenings and weekends. So if you’re looking for a job rather than a lifestyle, fill out an application at a school where they follow a strict set of standard curriculum documents and hours of operation.

But if you believe in an educational process that supports diverse high school students in reengaging in their own education and finding and nurturing their gifts, or you like the notion of empowering students to explore and examine their options for life after high school in a deep and critical way, then we just might be your huckleberry.

Riddle us this: Do you believe that youth can benefit from coaching and preparation during high school that can make them even more successful after they graduate? Does a boarding school that bases its disciplinary approach on relationships and respect resonate with you?

What it all comes down to is an applicant with boundless energy, an inherent trust in the ability of students, a passion for the array of options that exist for youth, a deep desire to work on both school wide initiatives and with individual students, and you have ambitions to impact secondary education nationally.

If you’ve got it, we want to hear from you.

As the successful applicant for the Life After Eagle Rock instructional specialist (LAER IS) position, you would serve as part of Eagle Rock’s instructional team. That means supporting students in preparing for their life after Eagle Rock. This includes post-high school options counseling and exposure, independence planning and preparation, and creating empowering and innovative opportunities for students to explore and learn more about themselves and their future possibilities through experiences in and out of the classroom.

For this you’ll need a bachelor’s degree — although a masters is preferred —high school or college-level guidance counseling experience, extensive experience working with adolescents, strong organizational and leadership skills and a desire and ability to reform educational practices and opportunities for youth.

If you have teaching experience in a variety of course designs and program models, that’s definitely an asset, as is the ability to work collaboratively both inside and outside the classroom. Also helpful is experience working with diverse populations including a mix of LGBTQIA students, students from low-income backgrounds and students from diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

The successful candidate for this position will possess the following attributes:

  • A deep love of work with high school students
  • Demonstrated success in collaborative work with colleagues
  • Adept interpersonal skills
  • A sense of humor
  • Visionary thinking
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • A commitment to lifelong learning
  • Seasoned judgment
  • And of course, an appreciation for the fact that working at a residential school is more of a calling than a job

Specific to their instructional area, the successful candidate for this position will possess the following attributes:

  • Ability and willingness to work with students inside the classroom and out
  • Formal or informal teaching experience
  • Experience with SAT/ACT prep, college admission counseling and/or registrar responsibilities
  • Excellent networking and communication skills
  • Experience networking and building community relationships in order to create authentic learning opportunities for students
  • Experience in CES/Big Picture/Expeditionary Learning or similar progressive schools.

Responsibilities for the position include developing, implementing and overseeing the Life After Eagle Rock curriculum. This includes assisting students in making appropriate decisions and plans for post-high school life, including life skills, internships, professional visits, and college prep.

You should be able to assist students in assessing and matching their interests in post-high school placement, including work, service programs, vocational education or college admissions. This also means helping students prepare for ACT/SAT, completion of applications, request of letters of recommendation, completion of scholarships and financial aid.

Other tasks include planning and leading annual domestic college tours to expose students to various college settings and programs, oversee our active alumni relations program; maintain communications with parents, college admissions counselors and prospective employers in order to help nurture student options after high school.

You should be able to assist with translation of ERS curriculum and program to colleges and other prospective options for Eagle Rock students, and create and deliver student transcripts and academic records to students and families, employers and post-secondary academic placements.

And, of course, develop and maintain a department budget.

In addition, you should be willing and able to join the ER community, which includes tasks ranging from mentoring a Public Allies teaching fellow each year to helping students participate in evening activities so they can increase their engagement in the community and learn new things.

Some applicants might think that working as a residential house parent for student housing is way and above the call of duty, but our applicant won’t. He or she will be a willing participant as a member of one of the residential house teams with the possibility of house parenting.

And then there are the obligatory duties that go along with being an active ERS member. These include evening and weekend duty, community meetings, service projects, house team participation, playing school intramurals, driving, and other events.

If all of this sounds exciting to you, we’re going to need some paperwork. Please submit a brief cover letter, a resume, a brief skills self-assessment that indicates results produced in each of the major areas of responsibility listed above, and three professional references (phone number and email address).

Send all this by email to info at eaglerockschool dot org. Clarifying questions can be sent by email to jenfrickey at eaglerockschool dot org. (No phone calls please. We only accept electronic submissions. No paper or fax materials will be considered.)

We are committed to finding the right person and applications will be considered as they are received, and we’re planning to make a hire before the Winter/Spring 2015 classes begin — but that deadline is flexible. And we offer a competitive salary and generous benefits package.

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