Education is a proven marker for both quality-of-life factors as well as for increased citizen participation in the US1. Sphere College Project is setting out to introduce a radical new education system – one that has the ability to support more adults in advancing their station in life, quickly and effectively, and positioning them to drive important and necessary social change through community involvement.
Sphere is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization seeking tax-exempt status. We believe that the newest generation of educational environments will not only prioritize students’ and a community needs, including debt-free solutions, but offer care (through ongoing mentorship) and inspiration (through compelling, interdisciplinary coursework), and that they will be a beacon for social equality. This is Sphere College Project…A New World of Learning.
A world of thriving, conscious, caring individuals contributing to the flourishing of the planet and all its inhabitants through inspiring education.
To provide a nurturing, invigorating and inspiring learning environment for adults where they discover their passion for enriching the human experience and how they want to live it in the world, while gaining the competency to do it.
To provide a warm, welcoming, supportive environment for adults to explore their passion and to learn what they need to learn in order to accomplish their most important goals and lead fulfilling, enriched lives.
Giving thoughtful attention to all that we say and do
Working with others to promote cooperation and interconnectedness
Seeking out varied perspectives to ensure a comprehensive view and preserve interest and adventure in the creative process
Igniting the creative spirit
Aligning people with the activities that bring them joy
Connecting resources in our community so that everyone can thrive, supporting an environment of inclusion
Recognizing our shared humanity
Uplifting ourselves through learning
Reflecting on different ideas willingly while cultivating an environment of genuine, heart-centered communication
We believe that every individual has gifts and talents and the ability to make unique and positive impacts in the community.
We believe in access to higher education for all adults who desire it, regardless of circumstances and means.
We believe that higher education is most effective in an encouraging and supportive environment with one-on-one mentorship, and personalized curriculum.
We believe that non-competitive, competency-based learning maximizes human potential.
We believe that effective, high-quality education promotes personal and professional enrichment and results in happy, fulfilled, well-rounded individuals.
We believe that high-quality education for more people is a critical factor in solving many of the challenges that humanity is currently facing.
Our Core Principles
In all interactions, but especially those where we are challenged or feel the urge to react, we prioritize and make time for understanding.
Every person’s viewpoint is considered important, and we support a culture where people get to be heard.
A sense of optimism maintains enjoyment in our processes.
We view all of our experiences as opportunities for learning.
We value all members of our community equally, and seek to include diverse perspectives.
We strive to gather information and knowledge before formulating and sharing opinions, and are able to state when we don’t know.
We strive for collaborations that are elevating for all.
We are continuously creating a welcoming, friendly, effective environment.
Empowering, inspiring, high-quality communication is the key to our success: Through open minds and active listening we achieve successful collaborations.
We appreciate all that comes to us, and value the journey as much as we value outcomes.
Each person has a responsibility to their own success as well as to that of the organization.
We do everything with mindfulness toward enhancing the Sphere community, the local community and the world.
Everyone in the organization realizes that what we focus on increases. We are always looking to identify what works and do more of it.
Picture this in a year’s time, with the help of Asheville:
100+ adults excited about learning, and creating something new for themselves in life
15+ mentors with a diverse knowledge base and a passion for making a difference in people’s lives
25+ passionate teachers, engaging students in innovative and fun ways
100+ core and specialty classes on a variety of topics
10+ different teaching locations
Students and mentors gathering in small groups, dialoguing – fostering a strong, welcoming and safe learning community
Everyone at Sphere working together to reach more people in our community and implementing partnership strategies that assist local organizations and businesses while fortifying the local workforce
Sphere working with city representatives to reinforce the value of education for all adults who want it
Adults pursuing their passions and becoming leaders in the community and powerful agents for change
Sphere’s Asheville success enabling us to begin operations in other communities within the state and throughout the nation
Asheville, with the help of Sphere, becoming known nationally as an innovative force for change in education in America.
Together, we can do this! And when we have proven its success here, our plan is to duplicate it in other communities throughout the United States, when the time is right.
Sphere is in the process of securing our 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. We are creating a worker-run initiative where teachers, mentors, students, and staff all participate in the steering of the organization. We are in the beginning phases of putting our program into action, and are seeking interested community members for participation. Specifically, we are looking for students, teachers, mentors, sponsors, donors and volunteers. If you are passionate about creating an educational system that is more effective for all members of our community, then please click on the links above.
Our intention is that Sphere College Project is a community-run, community-driven educational program. Anyone from the community is welcome to participate in the design, delivery and evolution of this initiative, as a part of our advisory and steering committees. Accordingly, we consider Sphere’s policies, procedures, budget and guidelines as perpetually works in progress, meaning that published strategies may be updated when it is determined that new strategies may better meet the needs of the Asheville and Sphere communities.
Sphere College Project
Phone: 844-SPHERE1 (844-774-3731)
Email: info AT spherecollege DOT org
SPHERE COLLEGE PROJECT IS NOT A DEGREE-GRANTING ORGANIZATION.
(1) Milligan K et al., “Does Education Improve Citizenship? Evidence from the U.S. and the U.K.,” Journal of Public Economics 88, no. 9-10 (2004): 1667-1695, http://escholarship.org/uc/item/6qw5h964