At Yarmouth High School, Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) Coordinator Brittany Brockelbank is supporting students in exploring their career interests. From finding internships and work studies to connecting students with mentors in the community, Brockelbank is helping students engage with their learning while also preparing them for their future careers.
Working with other faculty and staff at Yarmouth, Brockelbank has been able to expand the school’s ELO program, now offering it to all students from freshmen to seniors.
“All too often there are barriers or structures that contain students and point them in one direction,” said Brockelbank. “ELOs are an opportunity to empower students to go in any direction they’d like!”
The school’s ELO program has allowed students to earn academic credit, pursue passion projects, and gain professional experience. Brockelbank says one of her favorites parts of the program is its power to transform students’ educational experiences. Students who were once less interested or engaged with their education have found immense success and enthusiasm for their learning through their ELOs.
Brockelbank says the best part of her job is the ability to say yes so often when students come to her asking about ELOs they are interested in. This means saying yes to them earning credit, participating in a work study, working as a group, and much more. When discussing her position as ELO Coordinator, she said, “It is refreshing to be in education in a role where the answer is almost always yes, and where I get to learn alongside brilliant students every day.”
Brockelbank would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to Yarmouth’s ELO program: Rebecca Spear from Partners in Education, JMG Specialist Madalyn Shircliff, the Yarmouth Education Fund, the Yarmouth Alumni Association, Allegiance Trucks, HB Fleming, and Autowerks.
Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs) are hands-on, credit-bearing courses outside of the traditional classroom with an emphasis on community-based career exploration. These opportunities are personalized for students and help them explore options for their professional lives. They help students engage in learning through instruction, assignments, and experiential learning. The Maine Department of Education (DOE), along with state-wide partner Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG), have made a concerted effort to provide working models, support, and funding opportunities for Maine schools to set up ELO programs within their school communities. To learn more about Maine’s initiatives with extended learning opportunities, visit: https://www.maine.gov/doe/index.php/learning/elo or reach out to Maine DOE ELO Coordinator Rick Wilson at email@example.com.