The future of UnCollege & my next steps

In November, we announced to our investors and community that my colleague and friend Charlie Taibi would become CEO of UnCollege. Today, I’m excited to announce that it’s time for my next adventure. I remain an active board member and advisor, and I’m incredibly excited about Charlie’s vision for the company.

I want to take a few moments to offer a few words of gratitude to our community. Our program would not be here without all of you. I am grateful to every fellow who had the audacity to take a less-trodden path, and every mentor who gave time to help a fellow. I am grateful to our team who took a leap to join a fledgling organization, and our investors who believe in the power of self-directed learning.

Why? From Good to Great.

I realized that for the next stage of growth, we needed to build partnerships with colleges and universities. I worked with my board to hire a leader who had the vision and experience to 10x our program by working with thoughtful leaders in higher education.

After we hired Charlie, he improved the quality of our program, made key hires, built an incredible company culture, took ownership of the enrollment funnel, and created actionable strategies to take us to the next level. It became clear he loves running programs, and he’s great at it. I was good at being a Founder/CEO, but I felt the people, the learners, the organization and the movement it represents all deserved more — they deserve Charlie. It turns out, sometimes it takes a while to fully understand when you’re in the wrong role.

Charlie is focused on expanding our program to make self-directed learning accessible for all learners. Our Gap Year program has been a life-changing experience for over one hundred and fifty young people. However, we have always seen beyond a big house and co-working space in San Francisco. Here’s what’s on the horizon:

  1. Pathways to college offered in partnership with universities,
  2. Using technology to create a scalable, blended-learning experience for Gap Year Fellows doing their Launch phase outside of San Francisco, and
  3. Using technology to create an affordable experience for those who can’t access our core Gap Year Fellowship.

So what’s next?

I’ll be working part-time with IFTF for six months researching future work skills — an amazing opportunity to apply what I’ve learned over the last six years.

Later this year I’ll be looking for new roles and consulting projects that leverage my experience in marketing, strategy, and communications. I excel at having to balance multiple responsibilities — being at an early stage or quickly growing company is ideal.

Wanna chat? Send me an email — I’m dalejstephens@gmail.com. For work examples and client testimonials, please see my new portfolio site.