The award system
You've graduated from high school some time ago. Right after graduation, you took a year to travel or to train in a sport or to immerse yourself in a hobby. And then you got a job. Full time.
A couple of years have passed, and you have done well at your job, which you still have and don't want to give up. You're getting the sense that you probably won't go to college, but you really like learning—especially the self-guided kind—and you would like to do something to cultivate your mind for a few years . . . .
Maybe what we have in mind can help.
It's the OLEF Award System, and it works like this (in a nutshell!):
First, you develop a web site about yourself. Here's the breakdown...
Your home page explains who you are, what you like, etc. (basically a quick bio-sketch). Then you go on to develop the other sections on your site.
One sections details the lessons you are learning from your work about management, people skills, business techniques, and so forth. This is the "Business Insights" part of your site.
In another section, you write reports on narrative nonfiction books you have read or are in the process of reading. This is the "Lifetime Learning" part of your site.
Another section highlights what you as an individual are creating. This could be an invention you are working, or a manuscript, or perhaps a portfolio of paintings. In short, this is the "My Creations" part, and it's meant to get you to develop and display an inventive way of thinking.
Finally, there's the "Reflections and Musings" part, where you post essays, stories, short analytical pieces, maybe a philosophical musing or two. This is your space to write for a public.
This web site is your proprietary document. This means that it completely belongs to you. You've published it through your own decision, and no one will tell you what you must change about it.
OLEF then has a panel of business and academic professionals examine your site on their own time. They will simply look through what you have and take note of the professional nature of the site and of your self-guided learning. They also look at things like presentation, style, and maturity in perspective and articulation.
If after one year of your site's being published the members of this panel feel that the work on the site reflects the mind of someone who had successfully completed 1 year of traditional college, they vote to award the site (you) with 1 gold star. You have no say in the voting process. It happens in private, and it is driven by a sense that the panel is acting on their own initiative to do this. The result is reported to OLEF, and if you are successful in earning the star, OLEF will list your site as a 1-star site. In this way, OLEF will help promote your site. You will pay OLEF nothing.
This goes on year after year for 4 years. In the second year, you will have the chance to be voted a 2-star award, and in the third year, a 3-star award. If for four years in a row you earn a star, the 4 stars are turned into a gold medallion, and OLEF permanently lists your site as a "Gold Medal Site." According to the OLEF Table of Equivalencies (?), this is the same as receiving a BA degree in general studies.
There is more to the story. For example, there are more medals beyond this. Also, you'll have to partner with a Fellowship Group who can advise you on your site, and this partnership will involve payment of about half the cost of our more recognizable pathways like the Applied Church Ministry program. But this Fellowship Group will not be the panel of professionals that examine your site, and they are not connected with OLEF, so there is a genuine objective nature to the partnership.
It's a bit to complicated to explain succinctly on one short page, but it's not at all hard to understand, so contact us if you want to start a discussion about how the OLEF Award System can help you become a lifelong learner.