The GAG is off

I’m humbled, proud, and PSYCHED about announcing… 

Sol house is a global network of co-learning/living communities of digital learners from all around the world. 

Sol House is the first innovation in higher education in decades. Long overdue, it is a solution designed for the student with an emphasis on choice and high return on investment. 

Our houses are composed of learners from all over the world (not just American students) who share a common understanding: transformative learning does not happen between the walls of a classroom, but out there in the real world. 

At Sol House

Life is the ultimate teacher.

Sol House Solves: Traditional college education has not evolved for hundreds of years, and yet tuition continues to skyrocket. The average four-year cost of tuition and fees at a public university is over $170 thousand dollars. And yet, six years post-graduation, 50% of students are making less than $27 thousand dollars a year! On top of that, 73% of graduates are not even using their degree after entering the “real world”.

Look at this. 

This reality is criminal and the victims are our children. 

Just look at medical care, which we all agree is too expensive, but at least we can say the product has changed. Nothing has changed about college except the tuition. 

Same old. Read, study, forget, repeat. 

THE SOLUTION:

Bringing education to the modern age by leveraging advances in the field of education including best practices from the data sciences. We now understand how people learn. In addition, we have loads of data, our graduates. We can pinpoint how we have succeeded and failed in education. 

At Sol House it starts by leveraging technology.

On-line education has a lot to offer. For the first time since the industrial revolution we are seeing education return to its original promise, a better life. Education is beginning to give the gift of social mobility between social classes again. It is truly beautiful to watch. Education can again be a path of access, which has not been the case for the past decades where the cost of the degree was more than the market value.  Shackling our future leaders in debt.

We are also seeing an education revolution with the private sector entering and challenging higher education, which has failed them as well. Employers do not feel that University graduates have the skills to do the job.  Google’s online certification degrees is a great example. For 3 months on Coursera you can be certified from Google and they value that degree at the same level (if not higher) than your 4 year degree from MIT. That is $300 versus $296,000+. This is a HUGE moment in education. Google is not alone though. Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc have embraced online education to reach the masses. You can take The Science of Wellbeing, the most popular course at Yale, online for FREE. 

Students have access to the best experts in the field with online learning at a fraction of the cost. 

Can I get an AMEN? 

Therefore, at Sol-House we welcome ALL digital learners. We welcome the online Harvard student as well as the online Google student. We also welcome the lost SOL who may be unsure of their next steps by helping them find FREE incredible courses to dabble in before investing 100,000s on a degree that research says they most likely will not use. 

However, one thing we all know is that online is NOT the solution as the REAL value of higher education (research speaking) is the network, the people. Its true. Think back to your college days. What have you taken away from it that to this day still returns value?  Answer: access, people. 

Always comes down to people. 

So while online education is a beautiful thing, it is not the sole solution. We need to invest in our youth, the next future generation, and allow them to find purpose, confidence, and independence. We need to incubate our youth into change makers and that is what we do at Sol House. We honor the soul for all of our sols.

Thus, we created Sol House to fill all the gaps currently not addressed in online education (the meta-skills: collaboration, critical thinking, communication, etc) AND what has never been addressed in campus education (mindfulness, life skills, connection, personal journey, confidence, diversity in practice, etc).

See how different we are below.

Let’s play a game…would you rather?

Would you rather learn at an artificial city made for youth with an emphasis on beer kegs or at a community of learners in the real world?

There is nothing real world about a college campus and at Sol-House we wonder if that is why so many students fail to “launch” into real life. 

Shhh….Little secret campuses are designed to “box” students in and this is on purpose. Without capturing student’s food and beverages services most colleges would go bankrupt. At Sol-House our houses are in locations that inspire. We modeled our houses to not need to capture F&B. We want our students OUT, not in, discovering themselves and pushing their boundaries. 

Woud you rather sit in rows or in spaces that inspire? 

Our classrooms resemble more of real life working situations. We have yet to see a workspace with rows of desks. This is the future. Let’s bring education up to speed.

Would you rather live in a dorm or in Talum (pic on the right)?

Average room and board at a college is $15,000, but what value do you get? A room with a bed on cinder blocks. 

At Sol House you get much more. You get a home away from home. A community of learners all eager to explore the world and make impact. You get the opportunity to travel all around the world at all the Sol Houses. You get to be part of the next generation of change makers. At Sol House you also get 1:1 life  coaching, on-site internship opportunities making impact in the world, breakfast, Sunday dinner, life Hacks curriculum, and access to our Sol House programming that includes yoga, cooking classes, speaker series, and more!

We believe you deserve that. We need this generation to succeed. We are invested in our students. At Sol House we believe that Gen Z will be instrumental in the future of our planet. We are all IN!

Would you rather spend your savings or keep them? Oh and remember you will be living much longer than ever imagined. This is incredible, but you will need more spending cash than you ever imagined. Not quite sure? Ask the baby boom generation parents. They can tell you all about it.

The research is clear, the long term return on investment in higher education, is less about credit and more about the experience/ the people/ the transformative moments (going abroad) and really the access..

I’ve always said the value of higher education is 10% classroom / 90% quad.

We believe this is where a student should put their money. Living aborad is the most transformative experience in education. Ask anyone who studied aborad. It will be the most valued experience. So put your dollars there. Credits will get cheaper. Leverage all of the free content and GO LIVE and leverage technology to do it.

Would you rather have your child possibly fail or send them to a place that invests and values mental health?

The data coming out of higher education is disturbing (to say the least). Universities are overwhelmed by the mental health issues on their campuses. They are first to admit their failure, but yet no plans to change it. Mental health concerns is now the second most common reasons students drop out of college (number one in high socio-economic classes).

At Sol House we believe much of the mental health issues happening on campus is due to lack of connection and students not having an adult to go to. We are committed to changing this narrative. Each Sol at Sol House gets 1:1 life coaching, an adult who is dedicated to their success.  In addition, our on campus curriculum is dedicated to mindfulness and giving students tools to identify stress and alleviate it through our programming and speaker series.

Would you rather find your people in the crowd or know that you are not in a crowd, but a family?

Colleges are first to share their statistics on their incredible diversity. Often boasting statistics that do impress, but the truth is that college communities are some of the most segregated communities in the United States. Students self-segregate. 

As Sol House is designed by data scientists, we are committed to limiting enrollment at every Sol House. It is human nature to break into smaller groups when confronted with large numbers. Especially when this is the first time someone is away from home, it is only natural they will seek those that look and speak like them. 

But the result is our youth is being incubated in a culture of “us” versus “them.” We are not surprised by the racial conflict in this country as we raise our youth in silos. At Sol House we will have true diversity. Diversity That no university has ever seen. Diversity in practice!

Would you rather get the degree or get the degree, self confidence, life purpose, life skills and critical thinking?

Sol House was founded and created by educators. Therefore, Sol House has its own on-site curriculum developed to fill the gaps that currently education does not address. Life Hacks which is taught every Sunday night teaches all the skills students will need for lifetime success from financial literacy,  basic contract law (they need to be able to read that first housing lease!), cyber security and more. 

However, the core of Sol House is our IMPACT CHALLENGE work. We are invested in created change makers and know that to do that, we need our students out there in the real world making impact. Utilizing local partnerships, students have internship opportunities to make a difference. Each House has a different impact lens, but all are designed to teach the 21st most critical skills for the new economy: Critical thinking, collaboration, data analytics, and communication. All impact challenge work is also group work as working with others is critical to development and not well addressed in online learning. 

We have a saying at Sol House- HEADS UP, NOT DOWN. SO much of education has our students with their heads down. Learning is an active process. This is now fact. Scientifically proven fact, but yet our universities still teach the same way. We learn from doing and that is exactly what Sols do in our impact challenge curriculum. They are out in the world meeting with local government leaders, pitching business concepts, ideating on local solutions for global problems. They are DOING it, not studying it.

Okay…

Sorry…

I have been wanting to tell you for a long time. And this is due to you, Nightwing. Thank you for helping me find my purpose.

More on that in next post.

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