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June 17, 2010 / Brent Sears

Learning without Credits

I hate to break it to you, but there are other places to learn and gain valuable experiences besides classrooms.  Just because the majority of people depend on the education system to educated them doesn’t mean you have to too.

You need to go look for interesting problems that are important to you.  Ask yourself what the world needs that you can give?  I did this in 2008 as I was talking with my grandmother.  I had heard that there were over a billion (with a B) people in the world who do not have clean drinking water.  I had seen shanty towns in Ecuador and I wanted do something in the future to help.  I happened to be talking to the president of the college I had graduated from and he asked me what I was going to do in the near future.  I told him I wanted to study something to do with drilling water for poor people.  At the time I was thinking the next step was graduate school, so I asked him if I should come back and take an independent 3 credit graduate course with a professor to research what was available.

Now, the president of a college is supposed to tell you, Sure, come back, take more classes and get a better education. He told me the exact opposite.  His advice was for me to go find a program myself and not spend $1,000 for the courses.

So I Googled -low-cost water wells- and the first thing that came up was an organization called Water For All International.  After looking over the webpage I found that they had a one-week training session in San Angelo, Texas that took included all meals and accommodations for $1,000.  That was the same price as a graduate school course, working with people who have done what I was looking to do, and compressed into a one week timeframe. This was a lot cooler than getting academic credit and staying at Cortland.  

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2 Comments

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  1. Patty / Jun 17 2010 17:16

    You are an inspiration! Keep up the great work!

    Patty

  2. brentsears / Jun 18 2010 19:55

    Patty – Thanks for the encouragement. It is what keeps me posting every single day. People are doing amazing things that need to be shared with the world…then others will be inspired and go on adventures themselves.

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