Frequently Asked Questions about HB's Institute for 21st Century Education


Q: Do students in each division get to work with the Centers?

A: Absolutely. While some centers are division-specific, others work throughout the school. For instance, The Center for Global Citizenship visits Early Childhood classes and The Center for Civic Engagement sponsors family nights at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Q: Do students have to participate?

A: In Prime and Middle, students are exposed to the centers throughout the course of their experience. In the Upper School, students can choose to participate in the Institute. While it's entirely voluntary, most students participate in at least one, but many participate in two or three.

Q: How do students balance all this with their sports and other academic work?

A: We recently surveyed Upper School students about the Institute, and the results are enlightening: 50 percent said they spend 0-2 hours a week on average in their work with the Institute. Forty-two percent said they spend 2-4 hours a week. 

Q: How do Upper Schoolers join the Centers?

A: Each center operates a little differently, so the best way to learn more is to talk with the appropriate center director. You can also read our Student's Guide to the Institute, which explains the process.

Q: What happens if you participate in the center throughout your high school career?

A: At this point, four of the ten centers offer graduation designations, which means that if a student completes a set of criteria, she graduates with a special label that goes on her transcript. We've heard from many colleges that these designations make students stand out because they suggest a high level of commitment and passion. The designations are:

Global Scholars: The Center for Global Citizenship offers The Global Scholars program, which is a four-year course of study. To receive the Global Scholars designation, students must successfully complete:

    • Global Scholars 1 (9th grade)
    • Two years of Global Scholars 2/3 (10th and 11th grades generally)
    • One capstone course (12th grade)
    • The defense of a thesis paper (12th grade)
    • Four years of a world language (9th-12th grades generally)
    • A comprehensive geography exam (spring of 12th grade)
    • At least one purposeful international experience (Anytime 9th-12th grades)

Service Learning Fellows: The Center for Civic Engagement allows seniors to graduate as Service Learning Fellows by following this path:

    •  Community Based Learning I (9th or 10th grade)
    • Two years of Advanced Community Based Learning or Civic Leadership (10th-12th grades generally)
    • Capstone project (12th grade)

Business and Finance Scholars: The Center for Business and Finance allows seniors to graduate as Business and Finance Scholars by following this path:

    • Business and Finance 1 (10th grade generally)
    • Business and Finance 2  (11th grade generally)
    • Economic Policy, Ethics and Leadership capstone course (12th grade)
    • The defense of a thesis paper (12th grade)

Science Research and Engineering Scholars: The Science Research & Engineering Program allows students to graduate as Science Research and Engineering Scholars by following this path:

    • Register for and attend the Science Research & Engineering Seminar class beginning in grade 9 (preferable) or grade 10, through grade 12
    • Procure, with the help of the Director of Research, a placement in a research lab at a location such as CWRU, Cleveland Clinic, or NASA Glenn, under the mentorship of a professional researcher
    • Grow into, conduct, and complete a multiyear research project at that lab, under the mentorship of a professional researcher
    • Formally document your research in a report due by the fall of senior year and submit for publication or for entry into a national or international competition


By connecting learning to life, engaging students in their local communities and connecting them to global communities, linking disciplines to each other, encouraging students to make things, and setting them loose to solve real-world problems, we are helping students find that essential spark not only to build their academic resumes but also to be creative, caring, capable, engaged human beings.

Michael Brosnan, editor, Independent School Spring 2013

Shaker Heights, Ohio Girls K-12 Coed Early Childhood

19600 North Park Boulevard Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122 P: 216.932.4214
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