Un-iversity (Un Schooling at the Collegiate Level)

We need un-iversity for students who struggled in school and need another way to build skills, receive mentorship, and follow passions.

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College is not for everyone. Look at the long list of successful entrepreneurs and innovators who never attended or completed college. Instead of trying to make college an option for all students, we need to provide students with other ways to build skills, find mentorship opportunities, and follow their passions. I am thinking of something along the line of old-fashioned mentorships programs where learning happens on the job by doing.


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Photo of Emma Scripps
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Super interesting, Sandee. One such model that's providing an alternative to college is this place: www.tillschool.com .... what do you think? 

I'd love to see you form an idea around what that alternative might be.  

Photo of Sandee Bisson
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Emma,
Checked out the Till School website. It seems like an interesting model. I'm still thinking through just how I'd see my model working. I'll post when it's more fully formed but feedback and resources from all are welcome.

Sandee

Photo of Emma Scripps
Team

Sounds good! Yeah definitely interesting model and what I like about it is that it's designed for students from all different backgrounds. So often when the "is college worth it" question crops up - we look at the Mark Zuckerbergs as proof that you don't necessarily need college.  But not everyone lives within those types of networks where that's truly feasible. So it's interesting to consider how you create models of alternative, effective postsecondary institutions that really benefit ALL students, even students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. 

Photo of Kali Kurdy
Team

It seems like we could do this via the internet.  Most young people are already plugged in, so creating a safe space for them to pursue their passions is a natural.

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Kali,
I think that is definitely one way to make it work. If we are looking at a systematic level, maybe professionals could get something (tax write off?) for serving as a mentor. That way there'd be an incentive for someone to take on a mentorship role. I think some fields will still need in-person mentorship, but many could work online. Thank you for your comment, you've helped me to clarify more about my idea.

Sandee

Photo of Kali Kurdy
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I agree face to face is a much better way to mentor but TIME is such a big factor in any teacher's ability to provide mentorship.  That is why, online is appealing.  I also agree that getting a little stipend still motivates people.  I wonder how we could get retired teachers to offer their wisdom?  Also, if its about "fixing a toilet" then you would need to extend this mentorship into the community, which would be a much more attractive grant.  

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Kali,

I see this as an alternative to college/university so I think community involvement is essential. Barbara's post, which I did not see until after I posted, mentioned her husband's story. I am married to a similar man who learned much better by jumping in and doing. I think there are a lot of students like this who are turned off by the idea of sitting in a classroom. These students are smart and need another way to show what they can do and hone their skills.

Photo of Kali Kurdy
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I have a nephew who is really handy and can figure out anything having to do with a computer.  He went the college route, mostly because his mom is a career counselor, and landed a job at $12 an hour as an accountant.  I always think about how much he could be making if he had focused on what he was really good at.

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Sandy,
You might like my post, "Yes - But Can You Fix My Toilet?" (https://collaborate.teachersguild.org/challenge/reach-higher-better-make-room-teachers-guild-college-journey-collaboration/discover/yes-but-can-you-fix-my-toilet)  I bring up the same question. 

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Barbara,
I'll check that out right now. There is comfort in knowing that other educators see the same issues.

Regards,
Sandee