Minerva Schools at KGI
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Seal of Minerva Schools at KGI
|Latin: Universitas Minervae|
|Minerva Schools at KGI|
Motto in English
Minerva Schools at KGI is a university program headquartered in San Francisco, California. It is a partnership between the Minerva Project and Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), a member of the Claremont University Consortium. It offers both a four-year undergraduate program as well as a master's in science graduate program. The Minerva Project is a for-profit corporation that owns the technology platform the school runs on. Minerva Schools at KGI is a non-profit institution that relies on the Minerva Project for services. The Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship is a second non-profit arm which provides scholarships for Minerva Schools students, supports the academic research of faculty, and awards the Minerva Prize for teaching excellence.
In April 2012, Minerva Project received US$25,000,000 in venture funding from Benchmark Capital to create the undergraduate program that would become the Minerva Schools at KGI. Stephen Kosslyn joined Minerva in March 2013 to serve as Founding Dean. Prior to joining Minerva, Kosslyn served as Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and Dean of Social Sciences at Harvard University. Kosslyn was responsible for hiring the heads of the four colleges in the School of Arts & Science and overseeing the development of Minerva's seminar-based curriculum. In July 2013, Minerva Project partnered with the Keck Graduate Institute to officially launch the Minerva Schools at KGI.
Minerva received WASC regional accreditation for five of its programs: the Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences, the Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Humanities, the Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences, the Bachelor of Science in Computational Sciences, and the Bachelor of Science in Business.
Minerva admitted its first class in 2014. The school offered places to 69 students, out of 2,464 applications. 29 students matriculated in and granted 69 acceptances resulting in a 2.8% acceptance rate and a 42% yield.
In 2017, the school had a 2% acceptance rate and a 57% yield.
In 2020, Minerva created its Visiting Scholars year. The one-year program, completed remotely, offers the four Cornerstone Courses (see Pedagogy) to students accepted into a leading college or university who face challenges attending in residence for the 2020-21 academic year due to COVID-19.
Under its first accreditation plan, Minerva's primary academic institution was its School of Arts and Sciences, which included the College of Social Sciences, the College of Natural Sciences, the College of Computational Sciences, and the College of Arts and Humanities. When the Bachelor of Science in Business was approved by WASC, it led to the creation of the School (and College) of Business. In May 2018, the schools were restructured into two divisions: the Division of Arts and Sciences and the Division of Business and Computational Sciences.
In late 2015, Minerva's Master of Science in Decision Analysis received approval and regional accreditation. This led to the creation of the Graduate Division, which is currently overseen by Joshua Fost, PhD.
Courses are conducted as online seminars capped at 19 students. Minerva applies a 1972 study that shows that memory is enhanced by “deep” cognitive tasks. Such tasks include working with materials, applying it, and arguing about it instead of rote memorization. All classes begin with a short quiz and end with a second one later in the class, that is claimed to increase retention. The automated recording of student performance allows tracking of progress.
Students initially take four “Cornerstone Courses” that introduce "Habits of Mind" and "Foundational Concepts" that cut across the sciences and humanities. The four "Cornerstone Courses" are Empirical Analyses, Formal Analyses, Complex Systems, and Multimodal Communications. In Empirical Analyses, students learn about evaluating and analyzing scientific methods and use that knowledge to build problem-solving proposal. In Formal Analyses, students learn to evaluate and perform data, and perform design thinking skills using game theory and classification method. In a humanities class, students learn the classical techniques of rhetoric and develop basic persuasive skills. Finally, in social science class, students learn about the characteristics of complex systems (which represent our humanity interaction), and leaderships, self-awareness, and negotiation. Minerva encourages students to use massive open online courses to learn what is typically taught in first-year courses.
Minerva has no classroom facilities, since all classes are conducted through an active learning platform developed by the school, where students participate in seminar classes of up to 19 people.
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