About five years ago we started thinking about some big problems. We saw students lives stifled by $1 Trillion in college debt, the lack of connection that colleges have to their communities, and the disconnect between theory and practice in college curriculums. After four years of volunteer development, the Saxifrage School is now up and running. We call this current stage of our work a "higher education laboratory"; we come up with new ideas on how to do college better and test them out. Over the last year we have chosen a campus neighborhood, held over a dozen classes, launched the Pittsburgh Forum, worked on student-voice research with the Sprout Fund, and developed the Askr concept. It is exciting to think that we have grown enough that a student could study with us full-time. The current cost of a full course load (four twelve-week classes) would be about $1800 per semester. Although we are not a "college" and do not offer credit, we do offer learners the resources and community they need to begin their life's work. By lowering costs and re-thinking the campus we are able to focus on preparing students to make what is valuable and to question the value of what is made. Throughout the history of our work, we have been supported by hundreds of volunteers and thoughtful students. Considering joining our work by donating, writing us, or taking an upcoming course. Become a part of making sure, as Thoreau says in Walden, that we "do not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports [us] at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end."






TEAM


TIMOTHY
COOK
Founding Director
Andrew Heffner
Campus Partnerships
Abigail Loughrey
Board Vice President
Bryan
Perry

Board President




Resources






“THE WORLD NEEDS PEOPLE WHO SEE SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND START TO DO IT, WITHOUT PERMISSION OR ADVICE. THEY JUST START DOING IT.” — W. BERRY

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Graphic Design

Graphic Design today is what handwriting was fifty years ago. Discuss the fundamentals of design, learn the industry standard software, and apply your skills with real clients.

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Carpentry

Come build with us! Learn the basics behind design and construction in an approachable environment. Consider the larger implications of our built world, lessons for sustainability, and the value of a well pitched roof.

COURSE PAGE
Web Dev.

Explore the theory and practice of web development. This broad, beginner-friendly intro to web programming and developer culture aims to de-mystify coding and empower students to learn on their own.

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Agriculture

Learn the history, philosophy, and practices of organic farming and permaculture. Special focus will be placed on hands-on learning experiences and topics in urban agriculture.

COURSE PAGE
Philosophy

Through reading, reflection, and discussion, this course will attempt to reconcile philosophical treatments of value with our daily lives. Can the principles put forth by philosophers help us achieve a "well-lived" life?

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Maps and GIS

Visualize our world and its inhabitants. GIS has developed into a powerful and essential tool for understanding the complicated interactions of society, geography, ecology, and econonmy.

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Writing

As you learn, you will gain experience by collaborating on writing a thematic literary journal. As you create, you will gain inspiration by reading great writers and hone your craft by working on technical skills. Draft, edit, draft, edit, and draft some more.

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Permaculture

Join us for a one-day Introduction to Permaculture Workshop with the Director of Garfield Farm, John Creasy. Learn about this ecological design approach to food production and homesteading. Just $50.

COMING AGAIN SOON
ESPAñOL

Join us for this experimental Spanish-language program. Using new technology and the city as our campus, we will embark on a twelve-week language learning experience.

COMING SOON



Join our developer and designer community space.
A free co-working area, resource library, and schedule of educational workshops.
Come work and learn to code with us.
Desks are available!




Instructors


Ian Luke Kane
Instructor, Web Development
Norm Huelsman
Instructor, Web Development
John Creasy
Instructor, Agriculture
Wade Caruso
Instructor, Carpentry



Maralynn Jacoby
Instructor, Graphic Design
Tyke Nunez
Instructor, Philosophy
Natalie Robb
Instructor, Graphic Design
Evaine Sing
Instructor, GIS






"Our universities must assume the awesome responsibility to both validate and educate those who want to be homecomers — not necessarily to go home but to go someplace and dig in and begin the long search and experiment to become native." - Wes Jackson



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