Well into her career as a traditional college professor, Dr. Michelle Jones concluded that schools were failing to ask students the proper, first questions: Who are you? What are you passionate about? What change do you want to make in the world? In the absence of these fundamental considerations, students were not receiving good guidance or purposeful education.
After years of listening to the concerns of students and other educators, Dr. Jones envisioned a better approach to higher education–but her solution was not to write a book about it. Instead, she founded an unorthodox 21st-century college, from scratch!
In our interview, Dr. Jones describes the origins and goals of the Wayfinding Academy in Portland, Oregon. It’s been a fascinating journey, beginning with a record-setting crowdfunding campaign. We discuss the rationale for this new type of education, the lessons learned in the first three years of the school’s growth, and the ways in which interested students or supporters can get involved.