Essential Pittsburgh
2:25 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Experimenting With New Ways To Do College

Credit The Saxifrage School

    

The Saxifrage School describes itself as a higher education laboratory, experimenting with new ways to do college.

By operating through underutilized spaces in the Pittsburgh community as a sort of "nomadic campus," they hope to model ways to lower tuition costs and increase higher education transparency.

The school recently completed its first year of courses and Founder and Director, Timothy Freeman Cook, shares what they've learned about the challenges and benefits to this approach.

He says they've offered classes in carpentry, organic agriculture, web development and graphic design- and each class holds unique challenges, but parallels the school’s goal. 

“All of these courses fit with our sort of philosophical approach to education, they have a mix between theory and practice. So you’re both learning how to make something that’s really valuable, but also learning to question the value of that thing. It’s sort of extending the liberal arts and humanities idea to include technical skills.”