How Unconventional, Experiential Learning is Reshaping Higher Education

May 18, 2015 — Draper University was featured in Forbes to demonstrate the shift from an academic business education model towards an increasingly experiential one. Author Jason Ma cites a growing demand for practical education with real world application for entrepreneurs. He argues that today, success after college is actually determined by experiential factors (like internships) rather than rigorous coursework. Experiential learning programs offer networking and team building opportunities not incorporated into conventional schooling. Employers want to know that your knowledge can be readily applied to their company needs, and theoretical education won't always equip candidates with the requisite skill set. More and more, experiential learning programs like DU are attracting entrepreneurs who hope to simulate on-the-job experiences and develop a practical business acumen. Ma spoke with Tim Draper and DU alums to determine what makes DU a singular educational experience.  Factors include the challenge to think big and work through failure, along with exposure to an array of business leaders in Silicon Valley.

Ma writes, "I believe that innovative, experiential learning, both off-campus and on-campus, will increasingly make marks worldwide. Many employers are not looking for those who simply 'follow orders.' They need those who can think and act out of the box, those who bring a broad range of experiences and skills to the table... [U]nconventional avenues of know-how and alternative, hands-on paths to learning are adding value to higher education, especially in the field of entrepreneurship."

Read the full profile on DU and nine other experiential learning programs at Forbes.