What Happens After LightHouse?

LightHouse is a newer program in Hampden County, but it is modeled on a tested approach.

LightHouse is inspired by an educational alternative developed by North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens in Hadley, MA.  North Star was founded in 1996 and now has hundreds of successful alumni.  North Star is spearheading a movement of centers supporting self-directed learners across North America, all members of the Liberated Learners network.  LightHouse is one of 10 Liberated Learners programs.

Co-Director Catherine Gobron was Program Director for North Star for 12 years, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Liberated Learners. Co-Director Josiah Litant served on the North Star Board for two years.

At LightHouse teens develop 21st century skills like collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication that are difficult to teach in traditional settings where standardization and memorization are dominant.  Through a personalized education at LightHouse students become innovative problem solvers, change-makers in their own lives and in our future world.

Take a glimpse into how things look and sound around LightHouse.

Personalized learning and personalized education are suddenly everywhere in the news.  Wired, Fast Company, Education Next… everyone is writing about the new horizon of education.  Now available in Hampden County.

outcomes what happens after LightHouse?

Measuring Success in the Present Tense

Liberated Learners programs measure success not only by what alumni go on to do, but also how they experience the present.  While preparation for the future is certainly important, we believe that the best preparation for a meaningful and positive future is a meaningful and positive present.

For teens at LightHouse, life starts now, not later, and doing things you find interesting and useful is the ideal learning experience.

Here’s what our families are saying about their experiences:

“I see a future for myself that I didn’t see before LightHouse.”
(current student)

“I just know I’m going to be somebody.”
(current student)

“So proud of my kids! Wow, am I amazed at the progress they’ve made. Thank you LightHouse for all the support.”
(current parent)

After LightHouse

North Star has a 20 year track record of success, with alumni attending prestigious colleges and universities, running their own businesses, and living empowered and interesting lives.

LightHouse will have similar outcomes because young people who learn how to learn, who develop interests and passions, who are treated with respect and treat others accordingly, can make things happen for themselves.

Self-direction, self-advocacy, communication skills, and critical thinking: these are the qualities most in demand in the working world, and these are the attributes that students develop at LightHouse.

Respect + autonomy + guidance + support = the freedom and the ability to create the future of your choice.

outcomes what happens after LightHouse?

What About College?

Over the last 20 years about 85 percent of North Star teens have chosen to go on to college, including to some of the most competitive institutions in the country, like MIT, Columbia, Amherst College, Brown, UMass Amherst, and Smith, to name a few.

LightHouse teens will create interesting and varied transcripts that are appealing to colleges. LightHouse teens can choose to attend some community college classes through dual enrollment and begin to explore a college environment and course load in this low-stress way.  Some will continue with the lower cost community college option and transfer to four-year schools as juniors, and others may choose to proceed directly to universities.

Our goal at LightHouse is to help teens consider what is the best choice for themselves, and to help them get there.

To begin a discussion on whether LightHouse is right for you:


“Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.”

-Benjamin Franklin