Harwood Community Learning Center
Founded in August of 2000, the Harwood Community Learning Center (HCLC) offers an alternative setting for learning to the student who is searching for a more personalized learning program than the traditional classroom environment. The program’s philosophy includes the following:
Students applying to HCLC often share the following characteristics:
- Exhibit the maturity to direct their own research projects without teacher motivation
- Embrace an inquiry mindset and a desire to learn more about topics of interest
- Enjoy a challenge, be it academic, physical, intellectual, interpersonal, or intrapersonal
- Traditional grades have not been a true indicator of their capabilities
- Possess sufficient skills to independently read, write, and perform math computations
- Take full responsibility for their behavior
Often, students looking into HCLC have been frustrated with a traditional learning environment. We seek to turn this attitude around and create a perspective where education is seen to be a productive and positive force. To succeed in this program, a student must be willing to take full responsibility for his or her education. HCLC staff facilitate student learning, but the breadth or depth of knowledge gained at HCLC relies primarily upon the drive of the student.
HCLC emphasizes how to learn rather than what to learn. The teacher’s role in the program is to act as a facilitator, guide, and co-learner, rather than a lecturer or information provider. This fosters active learning, rather than passive learning - we want to put the student in the driver's seat of their own learning.
- Core subjects and electives are presented in an independent study format using student-designed projects and small group lessons. We provided the following courses:
- Humanities - a merging of English and social studies
- STEM - a merging of applied science and math;
- Group Communication - a Socratic dialogue based course emphasizing focused reading and writing, critical thinking, collaboration, discussion, and reflection
- Project Independence - a goals-based course where students design their own program of study around a personal interest and work with a community mentor to meet co-established goals; students also explore career/college opportunities and develop resources (resumes, etc.) for their post-secondary options
Homework is not regularly assigned, but all project due dates and deadlines are collaborative established and FIRM. Thus, a student may be forced to complete work outside of class to meet due dates or deadlines if they are not working productively during class time.
Students must enroll in all HCLC courses unless special circumstances apply. Attendance is mandatory Monday through Friday, either during the morning session or afternoon session. The times are as follows:
- Morning session: 8:00 - 11:00
- Afternoon session: 11:40 - 2:40
Students are not permitted to attend HCLC part-time due to scheduling conflicts. If a Harwood class they would like to take, such as Drivers Ed, overlaps with their HCLC session, they will be allowed to switch sessions.