For many of us, the word “college” conjures images of old brick buildings, studying on the quad, and lecture halls full of students fervently scribbling notes and engaging in debate. 

But at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), the entire idea of college—and how we define success there—has been flipped on its head. 

While four thousand students learn on-site at the school’s campus, a whopping 180,000 more study completely online.  

The school’s innovative approach speaks to its own leadership as much as the societal challenges, and opportunities, that we face today. As a result, SNHU has been named, among other accolades, as #12 on Fast Company magazine’s “World’s Fifty Most Innovative Companies” list. 

SNHU has succeeded in part because it recognizes that many—if not most—students today face a series of modern obstacles: they work part-time or full-time jobs with erratic schedules, face financial barriers which prevent them from attending more traditional colleges, and often have no realistic path to college straight from high school. 

In this episode of Deciding Factors, we welcome the President of SNHU, Dr. Paul LeBlanc, for an illuminating and wide-reaching conversation about higher ed in America, and how to make it attainable for everyone. 

Paul joined SNHU twenty years ago after a seven-year stint as the President of Marlboro College in Vermont. In addition to his work creating and leading toward a new version for the university, he is the author of several best-selling books, including “Broken: How Our Social Systems Are Failing Us and How We Can Fix Them.” 

Listen along as Paul explains what makes SNHU’s approach different from other models of higher ed, how it embraces data to ensure quality in the courses it offers, and how AI’s potential impact on the work force could change our expectations around higher education. 

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