So what am I up to?

21 Feb

The following is what I have written up so far for my “project proposal.” I am planning to send it out to a bunch of people that I think could help me out, give advice, connect me to others who would be interested, etc. Let me know what you think!

***

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

-Mark Twain

Since beginning my college journey in 2009, I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that the current college system of learning is not entirely sufficient for a 21st century education, and is not exactly worth the astronomical amount of debt members of my generation are finding ourselves in. And I’m not alone. I’ve heard the same sentiment expressed by friends and acquaintances at a variety of different college settings. In addition, there has recently been an explosion of headlines across the media and a number of new books that are questioning the learning model and value of a college education. I know that sitting in a classroom reading from a book and listening to a professor can be valuable, and I am not denying that certain aspects of college are essential. Even my own college has been very innovative and forward thinking in many respects, and for that I am grateful. However, based on a host of other learning experiences that I have gained in the world, and reflecting on the real world skills I hope to master, I know that new pathways of learning need to be made more visible in the wider system of higher ed. The recognition of these alternative routes is a first step to positively transformation the system of higher education in the US today.

After hearing from my own friends who have taken alternative routes to learning, and through my own research on the topic, I have realized the large market and demand for some sort of “guide” that focuses on real peoples’ inspiring examples of their creative, alternative learning journeys and how it has affected their life path. There are so many inspiring stories out there, and so many confused students stuck in the current broken system of higher education. What I want to do is to simply connect one audience to the other—the confused to the inspired.

Therefore, while I am taking my own gap time off from college, I have decided to create a new popular resource that I have realized does not exist at the moment. My hope is that my book and the varied profiles of bold “eduventurists” will inspire other young people like myself to take their own leap into the unknown world of experiential, alternative learning. Especially in this time of economic hardship, soaring college costs, and an educational system which tends to prevent creativity and identity development, it is becoming imperative for us to begin to question our own system and to look at other learning pathways that open new life possibilities. I hope that as you read through this project idea, I can receive your own unique perspective, suggestions, and feedback on this important issue!

Specifics: What I Need/How You Can Help

· Suggestions for profilees, or your own story if you identify as an eduventurist.

· Advice on the content and structure of the book.

· Ideas of potential book publishers/agents

· Possible funding sources to undertake research & writing

· Ideas of particular alternative programs to include as resources in the book

· Mentors willing to be on my “advisory board,” from all spheres of society.

· Any valuable pieces of information or feedback are much appreciated!

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