The Professional Development Center disseminates information about Eagle Rock's philosophy, programs and methodologies related to re-engaging struggling students in learning, keeping them in school, and graduating them so that they can make a contribution to society.
Initiatives of the Professional Development Center include hosting visiting educators from around the world; speaking at conferences; sponsoring twelve fellowships with Public Allies; offering a variety of learning opportunities to pre-student teachers, student teachers, graduate students and researchers; providing technical assistance to schools and districts; helping fellows become certified through an approved alternative licensure program; and publishing articles (in educational journals as well as the New York Times and Teacher magazine) and books about Eagle Rock (The Other Side of the Curriculum: Lessons For Learners and Engaging the Disengaged - How Schools Can Help Struggling Students Succeed).
The reception area lends itself to comfortable meetings.
The Professional Development Center is unique because students participate in its activities as visiting educators shadow them, and they engage these educators in informal conversations at meals as well as participate in panel discussions and seminars on subjects that interest visitors. Students also accompany staff to conferences to assist in making presentations. Students and staff serve on a design teams new school or program creation and school conversion plans. Students understand that they have a purpose beyond being students — they are teachers when educators visit Eagle Rock. Their voices are powerful and persuasive. Similarly, staff welcome visitors to their classes and other activities, talk with them informally, and assist in workshops, seminars and formal discussions. In turn, visiting educators provide powerful feedback through their questions and comments.