The Founder's Journey


2.S972 Spring 2023

Hacking Higher Ed

Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:000pm to 5:00pm

Instructor: Ken Zolot, with visiting guests

If you could create a college from scratch, what would you build, and for whom?

Quoting the faculty team who inspired our seminar: “The conventional model of higher education is facing growing skepticism. With rising tuition costs, ballooning debt, and concerns about preparedness for the work force, many are doubting the value of higher education. Alternative credentials and online offerings are gaining currency. Viable solutions to these challenges will require abandoning some of our long-held assumptions about how institutions of higher education should operate.”

In this special seminar, you will identify challenges faced by learners, interview stakeholders to validate assumptions, and launch experiments to extend the design of a new educational institution.

The seminar will be a student-run initiative, and you’ll have wide latitude to define your work over the semester. The faculty will help organize weekly meetings and will reach out to visiting mentors and guest speakers for you to interview.

We expect that you’ll organize into teams and focus on different aspects of the design. Some examples (though by no means exhaustive) include: affordability, curriculum development and delivery, pedagogy, micro-credentials, collaboration with industry/recruiters, personal development and student well-being.

The starting point of this analysis is the white paper prepared by the “Project NEI” team, as described here:

Throughout the semester, you’ll discuss and create the path from white-paper to reality.

To request a spot in the seminar, please share your information via this form:

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