The core principle of UnCollege is that people should be empowered to take control of their own choices for learning. Research shows that almost everyone can benefit from taking concentrated time to focus on their learning, discover their talents, and develop professional acumen. The experience-based program we’ve created teaches young adults the practical skills they miss in most conventional classroom settings through a blended approach of self- directed learning, accountability training, mentorship, and deliberate practice. This method, called Supported Self-Directed Learning, equips participants with the essential cognitive skills, confidence, and professional aptitudes they can utilize in all future endeavors.
UnCollege helps young people pursue their interests proactively through learning relevant skills and gaining real world experience.
UnCollege is a program that deliberately teaches the soft skills learned in college and develops them during a nine-month gap year for students preparing for the next step in life. It's a three-phase program: international service learning, skill building workshops in SF, and an internship anywhere in the world. All of this is woven together by a dedicated coach and mentor(s) that the fellow works with throughout the program to identify and set personal and professional goals. The result is expedited growth on both levels.
The story of UnCollege and its Gap Year Program begins with its founder Dale J. Stephens. Dale was unschooled – an education movement that promotes self-directed learning – from sixth through the twelfth grade and enrolled at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas following “high school.” At Hendrix, Stephens came to the conclusion that he needed time to decide what he wanted to pursue professionally and that his college experience was not adequately teaching him the 21st century skills he knew he would need to succeed in the professional world. Dale responded in January of 2011 by creating a hub for a powerful international experiential learning community – UnCollege.org.
In an effort to help young adults in an even more hands on manner, Dale and the UnCollege staff launched its first Gap Year Program in the Fall of 2013. Since then, young adults from 15 different countries have participated in the program. Upon graduating the program, UnCollege Fellows have gone on to start their own companies, receive university scholarships, join startups, and help non-profits around the globe.
Travel enthusiast. California native. Lived in Beijing for 4+ years. Loves walking tours, art exhibits, live music, and blue skies. Foodie.
Education enthusiast. Iced-coffee addict. Loves practicing Mandarin every chance he gets, going on long runs, and singing in the shower.
Former teacher, design thinker and traveler. Loves the outdoors, helping empower young people, and eating ice cream.
Author of Penguin's Hacking Your Education. Forbes 30 Under 30. Loves learning, chocolate, and travel.
Educator and coach. Endlessly curious. Loves travel, sleeping under the stars, poetry, and dance parties.
Educational pathfinder. Two decades in university admissions, study abroad, experiential learning, & educational travel.
Empowerment coach. Committed to guiding others towards purpose and inspired action. Loves yoga, french bulldogs, and floral design.
Writer, creativity evangelist, people hugger. Former museum curator. Loves fermented food, re-framing stale ideas, and collecting rocks.
Psych background, coming from tech industry. Geeks out on esoteric music and psychoanalytic theory. And space. Space is cool.
Creativity & Career Launch Coach. Goals and values weaver. Spin class seeker. Iced espresso sipper. Performance poet-er.
Jake Schwartz is Co-Founder and CEO of General Assembly
Based out of New York, Danielle is the Director of Product at Tumblr
Daniel Pianko is a founding Managing Director of University Ventures
Ted has more than 19 years of experience in early-stage venture investing, focusing on software and information services.
Lisa is an educator, life-long learner, and experienced community organizer. She is an influencer in the self-directed learning space.
Michael is a partner at Learn Capital, keeping his eye on ed tech and advisor to New Schools Venture Fund.
Alex owns Dunce, LLC, a college planning and helps students with their post gap year journey.
David is an investment partner at Western Technology Investment, a position he has held since 2000.
Graham Foreman is the Managing Director and founder of Edvocate Capital. He is a widespread advisor in the ed tech space.
Founded in 1970, CRV has been a leading investor in early-stage technology companies for more than forty years.
Women 2.0 is the world’s largest community-driven media brand designed for the next generation of technology leaders.
1776 is an incubator and seed fund helping startups in education, energy, health, transportation, and cities.
Learn Capital is a venture capital firm focused exclusively on funding entrepreneurs with a vision for better and smarter learning.
Challenge Day provides youth and schools with experiential, social-emotional learning programs all over the world .
Transforming thinkers into creators through education and opportunities in tech, business, and design.
Dev Bootcamp is the first immersive bootcamp that transforms beginners into full-stack web developers in as short as 19 weeks.
A network of modern campuses where you can access the skills, knowledge, and network you need to make an impact.
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We're based at the Galvanize building in San Francisco, California. The address is 44 Tehama St, San Francisco, CA, 94105. Please let us know if you'd like to visit beforehand. We accommodate visits year round and allow workshop visits upon request.
You can reach us at +1 (415) 484- 9747, Monday to Friday from 9AM to 6PM. UnCollege consists of a small team. We answer phones when we can, but your best bet is to fill out a contact form. A secondary options is to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. People that will respond to your query will be admissions representatives, program specialists, or potentially our CEO, Charlie Taibi.