by Tony Wan
"One UnSchooler begets another. At least that's what it looks like as one of Peter Thiel's star dropouts is offering an opportunity for others to also go off the traditional education track and educate themselves.
"Dale Stephens, part of the first class of Thiel 20 Under 20 Fellows, founded UnCollege.org in 2011 as an online resource and community to help dissatisfied students with self-directed learning. This week, Stephens is coalescing this goal into an official fellowship program, the Gap Year Program, to help other motivated dropouts to embark on their own self-learning journey.
"A big part of the program is to instill confidence and street smarts in students who may be daunted by the task of taking complete ownership of their education for the very first time. "Some of the things we're doing in the Gap Year Program would have been helpful for me as I was doing the Thiel Fellowship--particularly learning how to stay motivated and committed," says Stephens in an interview with EdSurge.
Stephens says the design of the Gap Year program was based on research he conducted for his recent book, Hacking Your Education. (Here's our review.) In the book, Stephens offers anecdotes of how he and others like him ditched the classroom in favor of living abroad, working at startups, and getting hands-on learning from other real world experiences."