Expeditionary Learning

One aspect that sets Cleveland Early College apart from other schools is its use of Expeditionary Learning or EL. EL is a non-traditional education system that supports students to build skills and content knowledge, to meet college- and career-ready standards, and, at the same time, to become more confident and collaborative learners.

In 1991, EL Education was born from a partnership between Harvard Graduate School of Education and Outward Bound, USA. The partnership joined the character-infused philosophy of Outward Bound founder Kurt Hahn, which focuses on teamwork, courage, and compassion with an active approach to learning crafted by leading Harvard scholars and created 10 founding principles for the EL Education model.

1. The Primacy of Self-Discovery

2. The Having of Wonderful Ideas

3. The Responsibility of Learning

4. Empathy & Caring

5. Success and Failure

6. Collaboration & Competition

7. Diversity & Inclusion

8. The Natural World

9. Solitude & Reflection

10. Service & Compassion

Crew MemberCREW

In EL schools, all students are known by at least one adult within the school. One structure for developing this relationship - and supporting students socially, emotionally, and academically - is Crew. Crew is a multi-year class that meets 3 times per week for 30 minutes consisting of Freshmen, Sophomores, and Freshmen. Students stay with the same Crew leader all three years which helps maintain that positive connection.

The purpose of CREW at CECHS is to give students an opportunity to work together to solve problems through service and projects that create collaborative relationships.



Seminar is a class period for students to work on assignments and projects for teachers outside of the traditional classroom. Sometimes these projects coincide with intensives that are being completed or may only be assigned during the Seminar period such as "Foundations in Personal Finance" that our Juniors go through.


Intensive Girls


 Intensives are collaborative projects that incorporate multiple subject areas that ends in a culminating high quality product. Many of our intensives begin with a field trip somewhere such as Boone, NC where students tour the campus of Appalachian State University and explore the trails and rivers of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Other Intensives take students to their own backyard of Shelby where they explore the landmarks around town and try to answer the question, "Who am I?"

Intensives can last anywhere from a day to an entire month. The goal is that the students experience something meaningful and to create something meaningful as well.