Giving Compass' Take:

• Two leaders, Michelle Jones and Ben Nelson are reinventing higher education by redesigning their own colleges that incorporate unique curriculums, learning styles, and non-traditional college environments. 

• How will the disruption of higher ed help drive more innovation into the education sector? 

• Read another interview by EdSurge with Sandy Baum as she explains how innovative approaches are able to decrease college tuition for students. 

Today we're starting out with a big question: What would you do if you could start a college from scratch?

Two recent guests on EdSurge Live, a monthly video-based discussion series, have surprisingly concrete answers to this question. In fact, they both took the unusual step of actually going out and starting completely new colleges, with new models of curriculum and services.

Michelle Jones was a faculty member at a traditional college before she started a nonprofit two-year college in Portland, Oregon called Wayfinding Academy. The goal at Wayfinding, in a nutshell, is to flip the curriculum to put the focus on helping students find out what they want to do with their lives, and the academics are underneath that.

Our second guest, Ben Nelson, first dreamed of rebooting higher education back when he was an undergraduate at University of Pennsylvania, where he did a research project on how to reinvent higher education. These days he is founder, chairman and CEO of the Minerva project, which is a four-year college aiming to provide an elite education for a fraction of the usual price and in different ways with a lot of new ideas on curriculum and delivery.

EdSurge: If anybody out in the audience came to your campus for a day, what would be the three biggest differences compared to what they might be used to that demonstrates your philosophy of education?

Jones: We have a lot of things that are set up to be really focused on being a learning community. Everybody knows each other very well. There's a lot of personal conversations, hallway conversations. Today is one of the students birthdays and so her faculty member brought in a cake for everybody to share in celebration of this student's birthday. So things like that.

Read the full article about reinventing college by Jeffrey R. Young at EdSurge