Ron Brumbarger, president and chief executive office of Carmel-based website developer BitWise Solutions, Inc., is taking an old-school approach to changing today’s education system with a new institution: Apprentice University.
Brumbarger held an interest meeting for students at Launch Fishers last Thursday to help gauge interest in his concept.
The entrepreneur believes an 11th commandment ingrained in American culture – “Thou shalt go to college” – simply isn’t for everyone.
“There’s just so many metrics saying going to college simply doesn’t work anymore,” Brumbarger said in a phone interview.
Brumbarger is founding Apprentice University on a not-so-new idea – apprenticeship – to fix a not-so-new problem facing business – finding and hiring prepared talent fresh out of college.
BitWise finds it difficult to find talented, freshly graduated individuals prepared and able to get the job done, he said.
His new school twists the common higher-education model by emphasizing hands-on experience.
Students who enroll in Apprentice University embark on a 30-month program, during which they take on professional roles at 15 to 18 companies, often splitting the week between two employers for months at a time.
Brumbarger said the positions with each company are professional and go beyond some internships which amount to little more than coffee-fetching.
The majority of tuition is “recycled” back to the students through wages. Different career paths are available for students to pursue, including technology, business and tourism and events.
Along with being able to earn money for going to “class,” they also can be fired.
Brumbarger said the university wants students to figure out what they love to do, so experiences and professional work will vary, even on a weekly basis.
In addition to apprenticeships, students take online classes including global economics, entrepreneurship and more – even acting classes.
Brumbarger is collecting names of students interested in this new venture, as well as looking for employers to sign onto the project.
Enrollment in Apprentice University will begin in July. For more information on the unique university, visit www.apprentice-university.com.