Eric Rauschkolb, Adopting a Growth-Mindset in College and Career Readiness

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices. Listen to gain their insights and apply them to your own college and career readiness practices.

In this episode, we talk to Eric Rauschkolb, Principal of Niwot High School outside of Boulder, Colorado. Eric’s work at Niwot led to him recently being named the 2017 Colorado Secondary School Principal of the Year by the Colorado Association of School Executives. Although around 90% of Niwot graduates pursue a postsecondary education, Eric expresses concern that students in general do not always know themselves well enough at a young age to determine right fit colleges and careers. This is an important observation that drives Eric to meet students where they are at so that they are the determiners of their life trajectories.

About Eric Rauschkolb

Eric Rauschkolb began his career in education as a Spanish teacher at Marion Harding High School in Ohio. Subsequently, he taught Spanish and then became an assistant principal at Cuyahoga Falls High School. His first principalship was at Streetsboro High School in Ohio, and he currently serves as the principal at Niwot High School outside of Boulder, Colorado. Eric has served on the boards of several non-profits, including the OASSA (Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators). He was recently recognized as the CASE (Colorado Association of School Executives) Secondary Principal of the Year.

Eric has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish from Wheaton College, a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Dayton, and completed his superintendent’s license coursework through Kent State University. He and his wife Kate live in Longmont, CO and have three children: Ethan, Ben, and Ellie.

About Niwot High School

Mission and philosophy:

Niwot High School is accountable for providing:

  • A safe and positive learning environment

  • A challenging academic program that promotes both inquiry and reflection

  • Activities that promote discovery and respect of diverse interests and abilities

  • Opportunities for critical thinking, collaboration, and open communication within the school community

  • A global perspective of our world and its cultures

  • An atmosphere of respect, trust and integrity

  • Opportunities for students to demonstrate responsibility


  • Rated as a top high school 2011–2014 according to U.S. News & World Report and Newsweek

  • Professional highly trained and dedicated staff

  • Relationships between teachers, family and community for student success

  • Internationally recognized IB Diploma Programme

  • Diverse academic, personal, social and career support for all students

  • Exceptional co-curricular opportunities


Niwot High School is located 35 miles northwest of Denver in Longmont, Colorado, just east of Boulder. It is one of six high schools within the St. Vrain Valley School District and offers an outstanding Advanced Placement program as well as providing the only International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in the district. The community surrounding Niwot High School consists of families of diverse backgrounds who work in a variety of occupations in high-technology, higher education, agricultural and service industries.



  • 1,290 students in grades 9–12


  • State of Colorado and Colorado Department of Education Certificate of Accreditation


  • Every-other-day block schedule; 90-minute periods; traditional semester system


  • .5 credits per semester in full-credit courses


  • Traditional, A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0

  • Weighted classes include Advanced Placement and select IB classes, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, F=0

  • Partially weighted Niwot Pre-IB and Honors classes, A=4.5, B=3.5, C=2.5, D=1.5, F=0

College Rate:

  • 83% attend 4 year colleges & universities; 9% attend 2 year colleges

How to Subscribe

A podcast is a free downloadable audio show that enables you to learn while you’re on the go. To subscribe to my podcast for free, you’ll need an app to listen to the show from.

For iPhone/iPad/iPod listeners — Go to the iTunes store and search “The Path to Higher Ed” This will help you to download the free Podcasts App (produced by Apple) and then subscribe to the show from within that app.

For podcast enthusiasts — If you already listen to podcasts and have a podcatcher you prefer, add this feed to your catcher.

For those who don’t have a mobile device — You can always listen to the show by going to our podcast hosting website. Listen online for free right here.