Re-imagining college education with the Wayfinding Academy

On August 14th, 2015

Imagine a team full of change-makers led by a former University professor and consisting of others with a multitude of careers in higher education and educational, political, and media non-profit organizations.

Imagine them collaborating to create an alternative college that addresses a big problem in higher education: too many young people getting to college and not knowing why they are there, spending numerous years there accumulating massive debt, and arriving at graduation without knowing what is next for them.

“What do you want to do with your life?”

To address this these problems, this team has launched the Wayfinding Academy and at its center is the guiding question, “What do you want to do with your life?” The Wayfinding Academy will be an affordable, 2-year college based in Portland, Oregon focused on what matters most in education: real world experience, community support, and individual passion.

Students won’t be asked to choose a major from a list, they’ll be supported in discovering their own personal mission. They’ll take core classes building skills that will serve them on any path. And they’ll work with advisors to create handcrafted experiences meaningful to them and build a portfolio through real experiences, including travel, volunteer service, internships, and beyond. When a student graduates from the Wayfinding Academy, their advisors stick with them until they have a plan and execute their next steps, whether it be a four year degree, a year abroad, an apprenticeship, or a venture of their own.

In the spirit of bucking convention, this non-profit, start-up college is launching through a crowdfunding campaign in an effort to recruit friends as well as funds. The Wayfinding Academy is currently seeking to raise $200,000 on Indiegogo to fund the first year of operations until the first cohort of 24 students arrives in Fall of 2016. Funds raised from the campaign will enable the Wayfinding Academy to pay a few of their current volunteers to be staff, apply for regional accreditation, establish a scholarship fund for students, and prepare a learning space in Portland to receive students.

Let’s help the Wayfinding Academy launch and start serving students. Please visit the Indiegogo page to learn more and support the higher education revolution by making your tax-deductible contribution today.

Additional Information:

To see all the members of the team, visit the Our Team page on the Wayfinding Academy website.

To read recent articles, listen to interviews, or watch videos of the Wayfinding Academy founder, Dr. Michelle Jones, and her team, visit their Media page on their website.

Image: melis (shutterstock)