At NC we partner with families as opposed to young people. We frame this in terms of “content” and “process”.  We believe young people, and by extension, their families, have a right to determine the content that is of value to them.  We also believe that the process by which things happen is critical and often given little attention. Therefore, we offer a series of resources relating to our primarily process-based approach to development (our view of learning), and we ask that families invest in learning and practicing this approach at home.



Young people at NC are generally free to choose the activities they want to participate in and the content they wish to pursue, with support from facilitator partners and other young people. 

NC facilitates groups/pods for young people to expand on community-based learning. 


The ways people talk about “fundamental skills” change based on their previous experience with schooling, with their own level of satisfaction with the life they currently have, and with the ways in which they feel they can manage in the world.  That said, the schooling culture has convinced many of us that the skills necessary to being a productive and fulfilled adult are easily broken down into a handful of academic areas, regardless of whether or not we actually use them.  Many people ask, “But what about math?” without exploring the ways in which they do or do not use mathematical thinking and problem-solving in their daily lives.  The truth is, in pursuing areas of interest, particularly in playful and personally engaging ways, many of the skills necessary to being a “successful” adult are developed in more natural and compelling ways. Our facilitators and content specialists work hand in hand to make play and discovery experientially educational.


Our goal is to help young people step into their agency and think critically about their interests in order to make decisions for their lives that they are equipped to see through.


In seeking to further establish and codify the value of the NC experience, we are pursuing the development of an NC diploma.  This would not map on to a high school diploma, but would in fact be a recognition of an individual’s work toward leading a fulfilling, self-directed life, specifically in the area of the three Cs.