The Studio Learning team works with partners in the community to help students gain the skills, earn the degrees, and make the connections that lead to financial independence.
This is a program developed by Southern New Hampshire University with support from the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation. Southern New Hampshire University is a fully accredited, 83-year-old, nonprofit university, which also includes a traditional four-year college campus in Manchester, NH and one of the country’s largest online universities.
Work at College for America comes in the form of project-based learning—not lectures and exams. Students’ projects are evaluated by professional educators with an advanced degree in a relevant field. Projects are returned to students within 48 hours, with detailed feedback. If students’ work doesn’t show mastery of the competencies included in that project, they can tackle it again—with help from academic resources, fellow students, or a dedicated CfA Learning Coach.
After demonstrating mastery—the equivalent of earning an A in a traditional college course—of each group of competencies, students achieve a “goal” and earn real college credits. Twenty goals and 120 competencies later, the student is awarded a degree and diploma from Southern New Hampshire University
BECU is based in Tukwila, Wash. and serves more than 850,000 members, making it the fourth-largest credit union in the United States. It has an expansive community education program that includes workshops on banking, budgeting, credit, investing, and risk management.
BECU is heavily invested in the neighborhoods it serves. It’s community involvement programs include employee- and member-inspired giving, school grants, and college scholarships.