Beacon Mission and History


Beacon Educator provides facilitated online courses for busy educators. These courses comply with the National Staff Development Council Standards, Florida Department of Education Professional Development Protocol Standards, and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates.
General Information

Beacon Educator, the professional development division of Beacon Learning Center, is a self-supporting, internet-based enterprise within Bay District Schools. Beacon Educator currently offers quality educational resources for educators and support personnel in the form of:
  • online professional development courses
  • curriculum products
  • consulting services
  • face-to-face professional development

Beacon's Mission Statement

The mission of Beacon Educator is to provide educators throughout the nation with standards-based resources and professional development, thus enabling them to identify, design, and implement quality education.

Beacon's History and Funding

Beacon Learning Center began in response to teachers' requests for high quality, standards-based resources and professional development as a means of improving student achievement.

Forming a consortium with other districts including Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Gadsden, and the PAEC districts, Beacon Learning Center received the U.S. Department of Education Technology Innovation Challenge Grant (2000-2006). Other funding sources included Bay District Schools and the Florida Department of Education through grants including the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund, (1997-2000), Florida Goals 2000 (1998-99), and other Florida Department of Education grants (2002-2003).

Beacon's Record of Success

Beacon Educator is uniquely able to provide hardware, software, and staff to host, develop, and support online courses. Since 1997, Beacon has developed an efficient development process that results in high impact educational tools and resources. Specifically, the Beacon Educator Enterprise
  • Provides a professional development system to serve the needs of thousands of Florida educators in an interactive format, with easy navigation and collegial facilitation.
  • Manages a unique learning management system.
  • Offers over 80 online inservice courses in 8 program areas.
  • Complies with the National Staff Development Council Standards, Florida Department of Education Professional Development Protocol Standards, and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates.
  • Has developed instructional design processes that produce high quality, standards-based products with job-embedded assessments.
  • Has Instructional designers on staff that provide consistent support, quality feedback, and quick weblication of course content.
  • Boasts over 94% completion rate of the participants who start a Beacon course.
  • Has provided over 800,000 hours of online professional development.
  • Serves over 45% of the school districts in Florida. These districts include the 4th largest school district in the United States (Miami-Dade), medium sized districts (Santa Rosa, Bay), and small districts (Citrus, Highlands).
  • Customizes online courses to meet specific audiences within a school district (Miami-Dade, Bay, & Manatee).
  • Offers quality training for online course facilitators.
  • Supplies the only online course approved by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) to provide REESOL (a 100-hour course for ESOL teachers who are seeking a Reading Endorsement).
  • Has been favorably reviewed by the Florida Center for Reading Research.
  • Is featured on FLDOE site, www.TeachInFlorida.com.
  • Has provided the following development services to FLDOE: standards-based lesson plans (www.BeaconLearningCenter.com), GPS online course, the 3rd grade reading assessment portfolio, and websites www.readingeducator.com and www.justsciencenow.com.