Creating an Environment for Academic Success
When the student transitions from wilderness expedition to base camp, they will engage in several academic programs that will allow them to practice their newfound skills in a different environment with new team members.
Unlike other wilderness programs where academics are only “in the field”, we believe in the value of a more traditional environment back at base camp. Academics are often where students struggle and become frustrated, so significant progress can be made. It is also beneficial that students practice in a classroom environment so they are more easily able to adapt to their home classroom after their time at Trails.
Trails has a Cognia (formerly known as AdvancEd (SACS)) accredited academic program, enabling students to transfer credits back home. Plus, there are proven benefits to bringing students into a more traditional classroom setting while in the therapeutic environment. Adding a personalized classroom environment helps our students achieve success and practice their new skills in a school setting.
Our academic curriculum is integrated into the overall therapeutic approach of Trails, allowing each student to see learning with “new eyes” and practice the strategies they’ve learned in the wilderness and other environments. Many of our students have struggled with school refusal, poor grades, or other disciplinary issues.
Sometimes this academic struggle is a reflection of other behavioral issues, poor effort, or a curriculum ill-suited to their learning style. We work closely with each child to help them achieve academic success. Our goal is to meet the child “where they are at” in their academic journey and instill an interest in growth and development.
Working with a Certified Teacher
At Trails, your child will work a certified teacher who specializes in working with exceptional students who have unique learning needs. While most therapeutic programs don’t offer accredited academics, we believe it is vital to the long-term success of each student to overcome any frustration, lack of motivation, or underperformance they may be facing in the classroom.
Our goal is to provide an experiential classroom environment that reinvigorates students’ appreciation for education, renews confidence in their ability to learn, and prepares them to reenter their home classroom as critical learners. Additionally, students learn to take inventory of their learning styles and how to be advocates for their own learning.
Daily lessons are focused on personal wellness topics (nutrition, stress, sleep, etc.), earth science (weather, water, soil, etc.), history and language arts. Literature selections correlate with broad themes at Trails Carolina (rites of passage and the hero’s quest/journey), and students are encouraged to make personal connections and critically review diverse materials.
Earning School Credits
While enrolled at Trails students complete an academic curriculum designed to enhance students’ overall understanding of their time at Trails and to keep their minds conditioned to return to school after completion of the program. Once middle school and high school students have been enrolled at Trails for a minimum of 50 days, s/he will receive a transcript issued by Trails Carolina that recognizes work completed in the following subjects:
- Adventure Education (P.E.) = 1.0 credits
- Health & Wellness = 0.5 credits
- World Literature = 0.5 credits
- Appalachian History = 0.5 credits
- Environmental Studies = 0.5 credits
TOTAL 3.0 credits
Trails Carolina is accredited by Cognia (formerly known as AdvancEd (SACS)) and is registered with the State of North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction.
Hands-On Lessons From Custom-Designed Citizen Science Field Studies.
The classroom curriculum at Trails Carolina includes hands-on lessons from our proprietary citizen science field studies. Our Naturalist, Science Steve, leads the program, employing a collection of creatures such as reptiles, amphibians, chickens, fish, insects, arachnids, and opossums to inspire connections between these often misunderstood animals and our students.
The Trails Science program also works to introduce students to functional energy conservation and education projects such as our classroom solar array built by previous students over several years. This array serves to generate much of the electricity that is used to operate the Trails Science classroom and tend to the animal habitats. Our students often build strong, lasting bonds with our friendly education animals that both assist with the student’s therapy, and serve to foster lasting respect, love, and ethics towards wildlife in our graduates.
Trails Truly Works
92% of families with students ages 14-17 that initially reported being disobedient in school observed improvements in behavior between starting Trails Carolina and one year post-graduation.