Startup offers inexpensive online alternative to college


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College is increasingly expensive

With the cost of a college education in the neighborhood of a quarter-of-a-million dollars at some schools, growing numbers of students, educators and some Silicon Valley executives are starting to rethink the value and the business model of higher education.

Solution: Offer inexpensive college education online

There are no lectures allowed at San Francisco’s Minerva Schools, an innovative college with a curriculum specifically designed to improve knowledge retention for students. Professors hold their seminar-style classes online, allowing Minerva students to move around the globe each semester, from Berlin to Buenos Aires.

Minerva is a highly competitive liberal arts college without a single classroom, much less an ivy-trimmed campus.

The dormitory is on one floor of this old apartment building Nob Hill. Students will spend the first year here, and then the subsequent six semesters living and studying in six different cities around the world. Next year, they head to Buenos Aires and Berlin.

But the professors don’t go with them. In fact, they can be anywhere, including home, because they see their students exclusively online, via a proprietary software platform called the Active Learning Forum. It fosters a face-paced, engaging, seminar-style class. No lectures allowed.

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Category: Education


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Article by: Dave

Dave Cannon is a Seattle-based entrepreneur and consultant to nonprofits and small businesses. He loves Thai food and takes terrible photographs. You can follow him on Linkedin.
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