I’ve had an idea for a re-designed university bouncing around my head of years. This is the latest iteration. Critical feedback is not only welcome, but encouraged.

To me, the university has three primary functions:

  1. To ease communication in groups of people interested in similar subjects.
  2. To match students with mentors.
  3. To verify the completion of a course of learning.

What we consider to be “top-schools” include a fourth function:

4. To act as gate to the establishment of tight knit, but powerful, communities.

The fourth function is the goal of any exclusive and private organization, so I will not argue it here.

My concerns are more on the other 99% of the population who will never near those doors. It is most importantly with designing a university like organization that operates with a different approach to function three.

Rather than verifying a course of learning, it will verify a course of doing.

This shift opens the door for a whole new realm of possibilities. When the organization is stripped bare a more democratic approach can be developed, counter to the top-down beaureacracy of higher ed today.

Key Rules For The School

  1. The primary directive should be to verify an individual’s work or portfolio so that they can prove their expertise in a skill.
  2. Mentorship should be a required continuous service to remain in the community.
  3. The goal should be to have a community of experts. The subject matter should not matter in the end.
  4. The initial joining of the community should be by invitation from an existing member to submit work for verification.
  5. The goal is to be open, transparent, and distributed.

Verification

Using some sort of recording device during the research process will probably be required to verify the humanities and other more theoretical subjects.

Experts Should

  1. Mentor at least 4 hours per year,
  2. review 10 submissions,
  3. or provide for an apprentice

Mentorship

  1. Can require any sort application process for students

Teaching

  1. Project Based
  2. Or more like occasional workshops

If you would like to be a paid teacher, those hours count as mentorship hours. You can set your own rates or link out to another course website. We manage verification, not education.

If a teacher sells more than $2,000 in digital courses courses (max value $100/course) and gives us 25% of total sales, that satisfies their requirements as well.

Certification Of Expertise

A verifiable portfolio of accomplishment is the marker of success. Critical feedback from all in the committee will be required so that the candidate may improve afterwards. The process will include the initial submission of the portfolio, an interview with each member of the committee, 1–3 rounds of email questions, and a final group presentation and Q+A.

Initial Acceptance into the community

Why is this better…

A Few Rules For Success

  • The community will need to be built online, so a priority should be placed on building a remote and digital community.
  • Initially, the lack of mentors/members will require active recruitment in targeted disciplines. Business is the area I’d recommend appraoching first.
  • An organization like this can be run using a team several orders of magnitude smaller than size of the community. Avoid bloat.

Owner @ Callforcontent.com — A boutique authority and content marketing firm. This is my personal blog about stuff and things I like to think about.

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