The PEPRE protests

I don’t know enough to comment on the PEPRE Process, or any other budgetary matter. You probably don’t either. I would, however, like to point out the burgeoning concept of the “College Minimum Viable Product,” or the College MVP. 

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a concept originating from Silicon Valley; it states that a product should contain the fewest number of features that customers are willing to pay for before launching so that the creator can get feedback before iterating further, which might not be necessary.

The MVP concept is now being applied to college, perhaps most famously at the Holberton School in New Haven:

At Holberton the student gets exactly what she needs to be successful, and nothing more. She gets software engineering skills to get her first job, and she learns how to learn so that she can get more jobs afterwards if she decides to change careers. She learns how to speak, write, interview, and even how to organize her LinkedIn profile.

She does not have to take classes based on faculty interests, and she does not have to pay for a prestigious football team. In fact, she doesn’t even pay tuition unless she’s able to get a $40,000/year job.

Schools like Holberton are in their infancy, but are already becoming viable alternatives to a traditional college education. And once they’re prominent, traditional colleges are going to have to pivot, either a little or a lot.

And the pivot can’t be trying to be more things to more people.