- A San Francisco-based startup is offering a one-year college alternative for students to quickly “skill up” in a demanding work environment, and it will not cost students anything until they've graduated and are earning an annual salary of at least $50,000, according to Campus Technology.
- MissionU founder Alexander Braun says the long-term goal is to change the paradigm of higher education, and hopes to assist those who received some undergraduate education but did not attain a college degree.
- The majority of the courses will be taught online, but students must be near enough to the city where the cohort is based for occasional meetings.
College enrollment is dropping for many reasons, but one of the reasons is that some students do not see the benefit in attaining a degree, especially when they consider the student loan burden that could accompany the decision. Alternative credentialing programs often offer shorter time to completion and the promise of a direct pathway into the workplace, which stands in contrast to the narrative facing the traditional higher education complex today. Though such programs may not carry the weight of a degree from the college in question, students worrying of committing to a full four-year experience may gravitate towards name recognition over an untested model.
In previous years, career and technical programs were typical of community colleges and for-profit universities, but the trend has been increasing among universities of all kinds, and it could work as a way to plug the gap of lower enrollment.