Eagle Rock School was established to offer personalized instruction in a residential setting for students who have not experienced success in a traditional academic program. The common characteristic of these students is that earning a high school diploma is unlikely. The school sustains an environment where students, teachers, and staff share in a community of learning, responsibility, and trust. Set in the picturesque wilderness of the Colorado Rockies, the tuition-free high school is an example of how American Honda* gives back to society.
Honda, which has undertaken a variety of community service activities since launching its business in the U.S., put together a project team in 1989 to identify an initiative that would meet contemporary needs while embodying an approach uniquely suited to Hondas corporate culture. The team identified two requirements for the project: first, that it have nothing to do with Hondas current businesses, and second, that it allow American Honda employees to be actively involved through hard work, rather than just requiring an infusion of capital. Responding to the fact that the U.S. at the time was grappling with problems related to high school education, the company elected to implement those two policies by involving itself in education as an issue that could be addressed over the long term in deliberate, meaningful fashion. The decision led to the construction of a new educational facility as a type of community service that could express Hondas gratitude to American society by letting the company give something back to its host country.
To prepare to make this new educational institution a reality, the company established American Honda Education Corporation as a non-profit organization in 1991, and the Eagle Rock School was born two years later. In addition to establishing the high school American Honda also founded the Professional Development Center, which offers educators from around the United States an opportunity to observe and learn about Eagle Rock Schools unique approach to student engagement, and to share these techniques with their own academic institutions.
This article introduces the past, present, and future of the Eagle Rock School along with first-person descriptions of its activities from the head of school, students, and teacher trainees.
*American Honda Motor Co., Inc.: Incorporated in 1959 as the first administrative company to be established by Honda in the U.S.
- Opened: Fall 1993
- Location: Estes Park, Colorado, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park
An initiative of American Honda Education, a non-profit educational institution operated under the American Honda umbrella
- The facility consists of a full-scholarship high school and professional development center.
- Eagle Rock School is a residential institution offering personalized instruction in an intimate setting (total enrollment is limited to 96 students).