List of 1 items.

  • Learning at Rabun Gap

    Prepares and Inspires for Life.
We inspire students to think beyond and turn concepts into action. 
Our applied learning approach in each division emphasizes the "why" behind what students are learning. We believe a student’s education is far broader and richer than what is learned in the classroom - however, the formal aspects of the classroom compose the core from which a student’s education develops. Our dedicated educators teach essential skills in math, science, humanities, world languages, and the arts, then give students the opportunities to apply what they’ve learned to real-world problems.

Students have the freedom to ask questions, create new ideas, and think critically. Through year-long initiatives, cross-divisional collaborations, and work with community partners, students combine academic knowledge with soft skills that will prepare them to excel in the global marketplace. 
Our small class sizes and faculty create a supportive environment for learning. Our students graduate ready for college and the world. 

List of 4 items.

  • 12

    Students per Class
  • 100%

    of students accepted to top colleges & universities
  • 65%

    of faculty members hold advanced degrees
  • 16

    AP classes offered

Applied Learning Core Competencies

Rabun Gap students....

List of 5 items.

  • Achieve through teamwork

    • We realize we are stronger when working together.
    • We communicate openly with teachers and peers, assuming the best in others while navigating solutions.
    • We think interdependently, using all available resources to benefit our learning.
  • Engage new possibilities

    • We passionately confront ambiguity with creativity, curiosity, and imagination.
    • We are applied, iterative problem solvers.
    • We are courageous risk-takers, understanding failure is the process of learning, not a roadblock for success.
  • Inspire solutions

    Critical Thinking
    • We promote critical thinking and problem solving as the key to excelling in contemporary society.
    • We develop core skills to promote solution-based thinking.
    • We ask questions, leading to inventive solutions to serve our community and world.
  • Lead with honor

    • We are character-driven, honoring the ethos of our institution.
    • We take responsibility for our mistakes and aspire to improve moving forward in community together.
    • We embrace new opportunities to serve others and our community.
  • Value all

    Cultural Competency
    • We are a culturally competent community where everyone belongs.
    • We celebrate each other's stories and respect different. viewpoints.
    • We are willing to examine ourselves and lean into difficult, trust-building conversations.

Applied Learning In Action

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • What is applied learning?

    Applied Learning is our school-wide approach to curriculum at Rabun Gap. We define applied learning as an educational philosophy where the "why" students are learning is the cornerstone of design. 

    We value skills-driven content and applied experience. Our students learn key skills in the classroom that they apply through projects throughout the year.
  • Why is Rabun Gap making a shift to applied learning?

    Rabun Gap is making this shift because educational research and data reveal the need for academic institutions to be more nimble and developed for a high-paced and ever-changing digital global marketplace. The general educational model used in most schools actually dates back to the Industrial Age, and while this model was very productive during this time period, the reality of today is students need diversified learning spaces which challenge their ability to problem solve with empathy as they push for multiple solutions to any dilemma. Our curriculum is intentionally designed to place students in these spaces often so they can grow these skills alongside the essential content for any class. We firmly believe this will provide our students a leg-up in the competitive world of college acceptance and the job market.
  • How does applied learning prepare students for college?

    Almost all colleges and universities are continuing to discuss the need for students to have soft skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, cultural competency, etc in order to be more appealing to potential employers as they graduate. Our applied learning model is actively preparing students academically, while enhancing their ability to develop these crucial skills in a safe and nurturing environment. We believe it is actually the best of both worlds for our students applying to college. Not only will our students have the academic acumen for college, but they will also now be prepared to engineer creative solutions to the most difficult of problems provided. 
  • Do you have a Curriculum Guide?

    Yes, curriculum guides for each academic divsion can be found on their academic web pages. 
  • How do you partner with the community in applied learning?

    Working with community partners is a key part of the applied learning process. We love working with community organizations on projects that will enhance the education of our students. Please contact Steve Nowack at if you are a community partner and want to get involved. 

Our Applied Learning Director

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Stephen Nowack

    Stephen Nowack 

    Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs, Head Boys Basketball Coach
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is a private, coeducational day and boarding school for grades Pre-K through 12. Centrally located between Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, and Asheville, NC, we prepare young people for college, career, and a lifetime of leadership and service.