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