The Highs and Lows of a 'Do-It-Yourself' School
STARING AT MY SOLE: Black Mountain SOLE, a non-profit startup, raised $5 million in 2013 for the "world's first 'self-organized learning environment' (SOLE) for higher education and beyond." The idea was to establish a physical community where entrepreneurial, self-directed students could engage in experiential learning through peer-driven workshops and take MOOCs to supplement their education. The New Republic spent time on campus and suggests the experiment "hasn't gone according to plan" in its article heading. But it may be a little misleading, as everyone had different ideas and expectations for the program. The piece looks at the unorthodox day-to-day activities, along with the students who sang its praises, those who left, and the financial issues that beset all young companies. Here's one lesson: The education experience at startup schools comes with all the ups and downs that accompanies any startup.