College Without Classes and Lectures is the Next Big Thing

Let’s be honest, the worst part about college is class. It’s not the professors’ fault, or the subject matter, it’s just hard to be “engaged” when you just rolled out of bed five minutes ago, sprinted across campus because you can’t afford another unexcused absence, and had to forgo coffee to make it on-time.
Enter Christine Ortiz, the dean of Graduate Education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)—or, at least, she used to be. Professor Ortiz announced earlier this year that she would be stepping down from her position in order to found a new kind of university, one without majors, classes, or lectures of any kind.
Oh, and the whole thing is not-for-profit. Yeah, you read that right. This chick is practically the messiah for poor college students just looking for a break.
“Basically the idea is that we’ll have a core that’s project-based learning, but where students can have a really deep, integrative longer-term project rather than shorter projects And then all of the knowledge acquisition would be moved virtually,” Ortiz said in an interview with The Chronicle of Higher Education. “So instead of projects’ being at the periphery, to sort of flip it more toward the graduate-education model. And I think it would be much more inspirational for the students because they could come in and really work on projects from the get-go that they wanted to work on and that they were most passionate about, and they could tailor their knowledge base to the projects they want to work on.”
It sounds like a radical, educational free-for-all, but it just might be a radical, educational free-for-all that works.
The plan is to start with a campus in Boston, which she hopes will eventually serve about 10,000 students and 1,000 faculty members. If all goes well, she hopes to add other campuses across the country.
So, when will this all-you-can-eat buffet of higher education be ready?
“Stay tuned,” said Ortiz. “We’re going to work as hard and as fast as possible to get it off the ground. I hope a few years, maybe even less.”
We’re already sold.

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