Eastern Christian High School is taking personalized learning to new levels. With the start of the 2021-2022 school year, ECHS will be launching the Concentrations Program. Like a college major, the ECHS Concentrations program allows high school students to demonstrate interest, aptitude and success within a specific academic field or subject area. Concentrations will provide a focus area for electives, extracurriculars, and co-curricular activities. This four year program will culminate with a specialized diploma.
We sat down with ECHS Principal David Intlekofer to discuss this exciting new program.
What is the Concentrations program at EC?
- The ECHS Concentrations Program will allow students to develop and demonstrate academic passion during their time at Eastern Christian High School. The graduation requirements for these concentrations will be challenging, but attainable.
- One of the things that I’m most excited about is that concentrations will incorporate more than just the classroom experience. Extracurricular activities, clubs, and things like the WINGS internship program, will all be able to count towards the concentration if the activity qualifies. A concentration on the high school diploma will signal to a college what a student might like to pursue in a major and in life after college.
- Formalizing the role of extracurricular activities is important. EC curriculum is so much more than just a textbook. Our curriculum is living. All learning is contributing towards this bigger vision of learning that isn’t only defined by one grade in one class. The concentration program celebrates this in a really positive way!
What is the history behind this program? How’d we get here?
- For decades at EC, the humanities program has provided a high level of challenge for students who have strong interests and aptitudes in writing, literature and social studies. More recently, we added STEAM as a way of challenging students who are gifted in math, science, and technology, at a high level. Framing out the high school model in terms of concentrations is the next step in the evolution of this process- finding ways to provide focus and challenge for students who have gifts and interests in an even broader range of disciplines. The concentrations program will bring a focus to the educational experience that is available to every student.
- Concentrations will help us to maintain the focus on the core of what we do–making sure that we keep the main thing the main thing. We’re a Christian School. Everything we do is Christ-centered and done under the guidance of Christian teachers and mentors. We also want to make sure that our academic program is the best possible program to prepare our graduates to become men and women of Christian vision and influence. We believe that the concentrations program is an important step toward that lofty goal.
Why is this program best for student learning and academic rigor on our high school campus?
- The best education inspires wonder and curiosity in students. For students to get the opportunity to do that in their areas of interest will increase their buy in and engagement and their academic drive. We’re going to have grade level requirements in order to maintain standing in the concentration. This will motivate students toward a higher level of academic achievement than they might have otherwise had in a traditional program.
What about this program will specifically appeal to high school learners?
- One of the best parts about working with high school aged students is that they are all in the process of identifying their gifts, and they’re looking for a sense of belonging and community. We believe that the concentrations will meet them right where they are naturally. It will fit these needs perfectly!
- Concentrations will be accessible to all ECHS students. EC Concentrations will give the opportunity to form a culture of passion around all subject areas, This will open those doors to all EC students. It’s my goal that students will take pride in their concentration. This is the group where students can plug in and find a place of challenge, passion, and belonging.
What do our teachers think about this?
- Overall, they’re really excited about it! There’s a new energy behind the academic program at our high school and that’s contagious. We’re excited about launching this after a very challenging year through COVID-19.
- Teachers are enthusiastic about sharing their academic interests and inspiring new areas of academic pursuit in their students. The Deans will be managing all of the requirements to ensure that every student is achieving at their highest level.
For more on the ECHS concentrations program, click here.
To book a campus visit with our enrollment team, click here.
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