Saturday, October 14, 2017

Minerva Project

The "Minerva Project" is a 2011 for-profit start-up, which provides a four year university program delivered through the previously established Keck Graduate Institute of California. The program is aimed at students, including those in developing nations, wanting a quality education. Minerva appears to want to avoid the stigma of on-line and distance programs, while using self-paced e-learning modules,  MOOCs and open education materials.

In place of conventional courses, Minerva has four seminar based "Cornerstone" courses in the first year:

1. Formal Analyses
2. Multimodal Communications
3. Empirical Analyses
4. Complex Systems

It gets more conventional in the second year with students selecting a major, but these are broad: Arts & Humanities, Business, Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences, or Social Sciences

In the forth year they focus in their major, with the students encouraged to arrange their own study.

In the final (fourth) year the student self-directed Capstone project (which sounds like "honors" at an Australian university).

Bassis (p. 31, 2015) writes of the Minerva Project :
"The target market is the developing world's rising middle class who aim for an elite American education. Though the school's headquarters is in San Francisco, all courses are taught via an interactive online platform. Thus, both faculty and students can be anywhere in the world where there is sufficient bandwidth."

There is a book just out "Building the Intentional University: Minerva and the Future of Higher Education" (Ben Nelson and Stephen M. Kosslyn, MIT Press, October 2017).


Bassis, M. (2015). A Primer on The Transformation of Higher Education in America. Association of American Colleges and Universities President Emeritus, Westminster College, UT President Emeritus, Olivet College, MI. URL

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