Education Innovations

October 6, 2020

School is back in session but hardly in the traditional sense. Across the nation, people are seeking new outlets to get the learning they need and crave.

For students missing out on the social aspects of the college experience, this means opting out of the Zoom-filled lessons of major universities. In fact, a July report by SimpsonScarborough found that 40% of first-year college students and 28% of returning students were likely or highly likely to defer the Fall semester.

Many students are electing gap year programs that provide an entirely different type of skillset than conventional school. Nonprofit global wilderness school, NOLS, which teaches wilderness medical training and leadership, reported a 125% increase in applications YOY with hundreds of students still waitlisted for Fall semester programs.

Innovative education is also booming for kids. What was once the 120-year-old traditional Catholic Marygrove College is now a reimagined campus of wholistic community enrichment for students of all backgrounds. Led by the Marygrove Conservancy, the campus focuses on “cradle-to-career” educational programs to empower and equip the youngest generations of the Detroit neighborhood. The now community-focused campus serves roughly 1,000 students through free and affordable education as well as additional experiences like student-athlete mentorships or skill-building internships through various on-site non-profits.

Beyond the school system and parental guidance, kids are embracing alternative outlets for learning. Kids’ online class marketplace, Outschool, provides all types of fun educational classes taught by real teachers. From crocheting to meditation to even a social Girls Club, the marketplace acts as a supplemental workaround to kids’ development during the pandemic.

Brands can creatively educate too. Sports brands can organize virtual youth mentorship programs that engage and ground kids while the pandemic persists. Connect them with well-known coaches, athletes, and mentors for support, guidance, and inspiration. Motivate kids with weekly goals in community kindness, like neighborhood clean ups, bringing in local support while taking some weight off parents’ shoulders. Culminate the program with a virtual conference, viewed by schools across the country, where kids present their progress and receive branded certificates of accomplishment and discounts on future products.

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