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Building Cohort 2!

It’s hard to believe, but our March 10th priority deadline for Cohort 2 is fast approaching and we’ve started to review applications! This next cohort will join us as we continue laying the foundation for something truly special at Wayfinding Academy. 

Hear from Justin & Clara (current students) about their Wayfinding experience...

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It's Our Anniversary!

On February 17, 2015 I booked a hotel room in my hometown of Portland, Oregon (a thing I do a few times per year when I have a big project I need to focus on) and submitted the official legal documents to bring the Wayfinding Academy into existence.

There have been many momentous days in the past two years since I officially started my own college, but February 17th will always have a special place in our history (and in the IRS database of non-profit organizations).

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Food, Travel, and Starting New Projects

In about a week the very first Wayfinding Academy fall term will come to a close. Our students have been up to all sorts of exciting things, including attending our first two full length Labs alongside some wonderful community members. In the 2016-2017 year we're offering about a dozen Labs that are each 12 hours long. Lab topics vary, but they are designed to be useful across disciplines so both students and community members can get great benefit from attending. 

Our first Lab this term was Food Culture Explorers taught by Gina Lorubbio of the American Heirloom Project. Participants explored questions such as:

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Living Out Our Core Values: Adventure

As you may remember from a newsletter we sent last February, one of our core values is Adventure and just as we will encourage students to stretch and explore themselves and the world, we encourage our crew members to do the same.

During the past few weeks our team has been spread across the world having adventures and stretching - Tim has been in France with his wife visiting her family, Bjarke and Gina hosted their wedding in the countryside in Italy, Michelle visited Italy for the wedding and caught part of the Palio in Siena while there, Tina summited Mt. Adams in Washington, and Colin is in Alaska leading outdoor exploration trips for youth...

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How to Pull Off the Impossible: 3 BIG Announcements

In the past three weeks, we have

  1. Enrolled our first students. 
  2. Received official approval from the State of Oregon to grant degrees. 
  3. Signed the papers for the purchase of our campus building.

At first, these tasks seemed intimidating and far-flung...

  • How will we find a students who will put their trust in us during our first year?
  • How will our tiny, unconventional college survive the same approval process as the behemoth institutions?

  • How will we afford a $1 million dollar building?

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State of the Academy - Issue #1

Greetings Wayfinding community!

We’ve received feedback that you are enjoying behind-the-scenes glimpses into our process of creating a college from scratch. So, we’re starting a monthly series of progress updates from me, as Founder and President, on the state of the Academy...

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Commencement Day: Turning Higher Education Frontwards

After countless hours of plotting logistics, handcrafting invitations, and conspiring with supporters of our prospective students, we can now tell you what we’ve been up to these past few weeks.

From June 1st through June 3rd, we dispatched Crew and Luminaries across the country to surprise students with tailored invitations and caps and gowns that represent our quest to flip the backwards higher education system frontwards...

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Find Your Fit Day Recap

This week, we’re coming at you with some very special news. Last Sunday was ‘Find Your Fit Day,’ and we gathered potential students who might be part of our first-ever cohort so we could all get to know each other better.

The building was abuzz; we’ve been preparing for this moment for a very long time. It was surreal to watch students come through the door that morning...

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The New College Application: When Students are Valued as Humans, Not Numbers

How the Wayfinding Academy is taking active steps to change the traditional model of applying to college and turning the entire admission process frontwards.

For some, applying to college is seen as an important rite of passage. Towards the end of high school most conversations revolve around plans for “after” and there is a lot of advice on how to master the college application process. Rarely does the conversation revolve around what is the best next steps a young adult should take based on what they want to accomplish in their life...

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What We Promise

We are often asked, "what will I get from the Wayfinding Academy experience?" This is our promise to our students.

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The Fun and Challenge of Starting a New College

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The Fun and Challenge of Starting a New College

 

For us, it all starts with this question: What is the best, most beneficial experience we can give to people finding their way?

As our five task teams have started tackling the application for the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission, Office of Degree Authorization (we fondly call it the OHECC application), it's been a bit like trying to fit a star-shaped peg into a smaller, square-shaped hole. Creating something new within a traditional framework is challenging, but it has also strengthened our resolve and affirmed our conviction to reimagine what higher education could and should be. 

We appreciate that certain practices and standards are in place to protect students. At the same time, we are trying to reform and reimagine many of these rules, regulations, and assumptions about higher education.

One example of this is the student transcript. While we believe that students should have an official record of work completed, we also believe that it should tell a more comprehensive story about the student. One of the hallmark elements of the Wayfinding Academy will be an online portfolio that will capture and share the breadth of their experience, interests, talents, and skills in a creative, visual way. We believe this will be a more authentic and accurate representation of the student than the traditional list of grades.

The OHECC application process has forced us to be intentional in all aspects of our organization. It has challenged us to not settle for the easier way, but to truly reimagine and rethink all that we know regarding higher education. More importantly it reminds us that whatever we create must reflect our missions and values to be innovative, excellent, and unafraid to be different, all for the sake of the student's experience. 

As we work towards our Fall 2016 launch will continue to share with you updates about our journey. Stay tuned for more exciting things to come. 


Introducing.....Wayfinding Academy Labs

Starting in November 2015, we will be having our monthly Lab series. The Wayfinding Academy Labs are opportunities to participate in small workshop-style classes regarding topics and interests that reflect our mission. In the future, students will be asked to choose several Labs per year that interest them and the remaining seats will always be open to the entire Portland community. Some of the lab topics include how to learn a new language quickly, people skills, social entrepreneurship, and Wayfinding 101. 

As we prepare for the launch of our Lab series, we'd love to hear from you what potential topics you might be interested in. Please go to the following link and fill out a short survey regarding your interests:

Wayfinding Academy Lab Interest Survey




 

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