While the inaugural cohort of students at innovative Wayfinding Academy in the St. Johns neighborhood is wrapping up their first year of school and have completed half of their core curriculum, a second cohort is slated to begin August 28 and a handful of spots are still available.
The private, nonprofit, two-year college at 8010 North Charleston Ave. is the brainchild of former Concordia University professor Michelle Jones. Its two-year program has been approved by the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission to grant associate’s degrees in self and society. The school celebrated the grand opening of its new campus one year ago this month.
“We believe there’s more than one way to do life and that one definition of success is not enough,” said Jones. “Our two-year program is anchored by nine core courses in communication, social change, teamwork, and leadership. Students handcraft their own curriculum with the support of their own personal guide. They get their hands dirty with real-world internships and mentorships. Our students document their experiences and learning in a portfolio that they can carry with them far beyond college to show the world who they are and what they can do. There are no cookie-cutter tracks. Our students are humans to be cultivated, not objects to be sorted. We offer education by odyssey, with qualified and dedicated guides helping students choose each next step.”
Wayfinding students range in age from 18 to 39 and come from all over the country. Most of them are from low income households. Many are first generation college students. Currently, only 59 percent of young people who begin college finish within four years. Wayfinding Academy aims to disrupt that statistic by helping prospective students make informed, intentional choices about their education and learn about themselves and society.
“Our students all want to understand what it takes to live life on purpose, are willing to stretch, and want to be part of a community that supports them while they grow,” said Jones.
For more information call 503-482-9038 or visit www.wayfindingacademy.org.