Praxis: The Disruptive College for Entrepreneurs

BreakingModernPraxis is a private, Internet-based program that’s disrupting today’s typical, customary collegiate education. It’s also breaking down the walls of mediocrity and facile mimicry that plague the modern-day business world.

students in library featured praxis

Praxis was founded by Isaac Morehouse who, as a traditional university student, found himself dreaming of creating a far-less expensive, higher-quality form of advanced education.

Morehouse says that early in the 2000s he was a frustrated college student. He goes on with, “All the best things I was learning came from working, and from my own study, not from my expensive accredited classes. I discovered that getting good grades and gaining valuable knowledge were totally separate in the college experience. I disliked the antagonism between students and their universities … As long as the subsidized student loans and aid keep flowing in, the university does whatever silly thing it wants. It all struck me as kind of a big joke. I got paid on the job to learn amazing things that shaped me and stuck with me, meanwhile I was paying to sit in fluorescent-ly lit cinder block cells where many of the people complained, half-assed the work, and didn’t want to be there – I’m not talking only about students.”

However, continues Morehouse, with, “the emergence of MOOCs and the declining value of the college degree, [which is now merely] the new high school diploma, I decided it was time to revisit my old dream of a different kind of educational institution.”

See the video below.

Video: Praxis: A Real World Education

And Praxis Came Into Being

Praxis provides a hands-on higher education, one that has deep meaning to the students and the business owners who sign up. The students are hired for at least $10 per hour, and the course is a 10-month program which requires that successful applicants work 30 hours per week for dynamic small businesses across the United States while also completing 10 hours per week of rigorous online study.

A participant can choose either a February through November course or a September through June course. Although tuition is $12,000, with $2,000 of that paid in advance, the participant earns at least that much money by working for a business, so the net cost comes to zero.

Praxis places its participants with small businesses in the real world so that they can create real value. They see with their own eyes and feel with their own hands what it’s really like to run a company, and interact directly with business owners and CEOs. A participant lives and works in the business’ locale while completing the curriculum remotely via Internet.

student center header praxis

This is an education that stands in stark contrast with the typical university education where students get one of the “dime a dozen” degrees.

“No one cares anymore,” says Morehouse. “What can you do? What have you created? Those are the questions that matter, and simply saying you bought yourself a degree from a university no longer signals those things.”

He goes on to say that what business owners are seeking today aren’t degrees but,

“… Experience and evidence of actual value created. If you’ve got the courage to do something different from the herd, and you’ve done something specifically that demonstrates your abilities – like built a website or programmed some software – that’s tangible and valuable to employers, co-workers, investors, customers.”

Morehouse says that those who inspire him are those who refuse government favors subsidized by taxpayers, and that “entrepreneurs who work around stagnant status quo solutions the way Uber works around taxi cartels, or Bitcoin works around a screwed up banking and financial racket” are real inspiration.

Praxis, like those companies, is designed to work around stagnant status quo solutions. To this end, it’s such a rigorous and circumspect educational program that only 10 percent of applicants get accepted. This is because what businesses crave is,

“… good talent. It’s hard to find. Specialized skills can be taught, but raw drive, reliability, values, determination and teach-ability are rare and hard to identify. Praxis does that for you,” says Morehouse.

Are You Growing Moldy?

Praxis tells its participants to “break the mold.” But how can you break the mold if you’re not first inspired to question it? So as to inspire and expand the minds of the participating students, the Praxis curriculum requires the study of philosophy.

The program takes philosophy down from the dusty, musty shelves encased behind ivy-covered ivory towers of abstraction and shows how it can be used for highly effective ends in the pragmatic world of the entrepreneurial mind. What this means for participants is that they learn how to seek the right tools to accomplish what they need and desire.

Through the philosophy module, participants receive the benefits of:

  • enhanced ability to communicate their subjective perspectives.
  • enhanced ability to recognize their own subconsciously held beliefs or preconceived notions.
  • enhanced ability to consider alternative perspectives to those that are “so obvious” to them.
  • enhanced ability to sympathize with those who hold views that don’t agree with theirs.
  • enhanced ability to synthesize and criticize arguments for or against an idea or concept.
  • enhanced ability to find utility in circumstances where it’s not obvious.
  • enhanced creative and lateral thinking.
  • a thicker skin and calmer demeanor in the face of facile, snappy, ready-made or non-controversial answers to questions.
  • enhanced ability to ask good questions — the cornerstone for all great insights and discoveries.

For those of you who have attended a traditional college or university, I’ll bet your philosophy professors — if you even were advised to study philosophy — never told you that you could get all of those practical capabilities out of what they taught. Well, practical capability is the cornerstone of Praxis.

If you’re frustrated with today’s higher education scene, you’re not alone. It’s rife with corruption, waste and, worst of all, outdated and impractical results. Praxis was founded in response to that scene as a disruptive alternative, one with a far-better price tag, one that delivers a far-better education in far-less time.

For BreakingModern, I’m

First image: Studious Students by starmanseries via Flickr Creative Commons

Second image/Featured: UNCW Student Center by Aaron Alexander via Flickr Creative Commons

Brant David

Author: Brant David

Based in New Jersey, Brant David covers sports and tech lifestyle at BreakingModern. Follow him on Twitter at @mabriant

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