Student-Directed Innovation in Higher Education



Catalyst is an initiative for student-directed innovation in higher education. Our goal is to encourage students to critically reflect on the challenges facing higher education and inspire them to play an active role in solving those challenges. This initiative will equip students with the tools to approach their education with intentionality, build a community of like-minded students, and design solutions of far-reaching impact.

The Components
2015 Tour
Two students on a 13 state, 2,000 mile tour to accelerate change in higher education
The Challenge
A competition to identify, reward and develop students who have great ideas to improve education
The Collective
A space to share ideas and meet others interested in changing education
Two students on a 13 state, 2,000 mile tour to accelerate change in higher education.

2015 Tour


Two members of the Founding Class at Minerva, a new innovative university program, will take a 13 state, 2,000 mile road trip from Boston to Miami. Along the way, they will stop at high schools and colleges, convening hundreds of student-led conversations. These conversations will help students think critically about their own educational path and brainstorm solutions to the challenges facing higher education today. 

After completing the tour, Zoey and Shane will attend HackingEDU, the world’s largest education hackathon, outlining 3-5 actionable issues that arose from conversations on the tour. They will challenge the hackers in attendance to build solutions helping their peers around the country. Zoey and Shane will also report their findings more broadly so professors, pundits, politicians, and students can learn from their experience and conversations.

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The Challenge

The Catalyst Tour will culminate in the Catalyst Challenge, an online competition crowdsourcing ideas to change education systems, not from politicians, pundits and professors, but from the students themselves. The Challenge builds on the momentum of the Tour and Collective to move students from thinking about issues facing higher education to designing solutions. More information on the Challenge coming soon...

Dive Deeper

To prepare for the Tour, Zoey and Shane extensively researched the past, present and future of higher ed. They compiled a list of interesting readings and innovative approaches for others to learn from and use as they chart their own educational paths. They would love to crowdsource this research, so comment on the doc with your ideas and suggestions. 

About Minerva

Catalyst is a student-led initiative by the Founding Class at the Minerva Schools. Minerva is a new accredited global liberal arts university program that prepares students to solve complex problems. Minerva students live in up to seven global cities throughout their four years of college, studying exclusively in small active learning seminars throughout. Minerva students are active participants in building the institution and educational process.