Steven Schragis and John Galvin are giving you that chance. They scoured the top campuses, asking one primary question of students, “Which class, taught by which professor, should every student take before leaving this school?”
One Day of College:
"We look at each professor,” Galvin said, “as a story that needs to be verified.”
They start with the teachers students love and then read student newspapers, look at teaching awards, sit in on classes, sometimes under cover; they do their homework.
With over 100 of the most-revered professors on board, and 20 in the bull pen, Schragis and Galvin opened One Day University, giving people like yourself the chance to listen to four of our greatest teachers---for just one day. Each session is held in the auditorium on a college campus, adding to the feeling of being back in school.
The Ideal Day:
The presentations usually include art, history, current events, and a wild card, something like psychology or “The Astonishing Secrets of the Mind.”
Growing a Community:
“Sixty percent come back for another one,” Shragis said.
Returning students are recognizing each other and creating a community of their own, he said. “It’s like education meets entertainment for a day.”
Professors are asked to keep their subjects light, fun, never boring.
A Happiness Club:
The One Day U staff is trying to assist that effort. They now have a Facebook page and send a newsletter that often includes the answers to five questions they asked one of their esteemed professors. A mini lecture, if you will.
“The possibility that people will be able to hear our greatest lectures online is something we’re definitely working on,” Galvin said.
“We have to figure out the model for the live online format,” Schragis said. “We have recorded most of lectures and are working on ways to bring them to more people. It’s coming. We’re just not sure exactly when or in what form.”
Right Teachers, Right Students:
“These teachers have gone to school forever,” Galvin said, “they have spent whole careers studying something very specific, talking to students who are taking a course because they have to. We give them the opportunity to come and share their knowledge with somebody who cares, a peer. This is exhilarating to them, exciting, to be able to talk about Ronald Reagan with people who were alive at the time, with students who are paying their own money to be there. Exhilarating.”
“I was in the men’s room at Wellesly,” he said, “and a guy was on his cell phone saying, ‘I feel like my hair is growing out again.’ ”
That's true appreciation.
The Dim Sum of the Education Market:
One Day U is a wonderful opportunity for lifelong learners to hear the great minds they wouldn’t otherwise have access to, to attend a school they might not otherwise get to attend, to sit with others who value education at a high level.