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Minerva University, Formerly the Minerva Schools at KGI, Gains Accreditation

Minerva University, formerly the Minerva Schools at KGI, has been granted accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Established in 2013 in partnership with Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), Minerva University is now a freestanding, independent institution that transforms higher education through innovative academic and experiential learning methodologies that drive superior outcomes.

“We had an exciting opportunity presented to us in 2013,” said KGI President Dr. Sheldon Schuster. “A group of entrepreneurial people approached us with an idea and asked if we would be interested in incubating an undergraduate institution that was going to push the limits of what active learning was all about. It was going to explore what could be done to enhance learning, student engagement, and assessment practices with technology because they wanted to see what kind of educational outcomes could be achieved using an entirely new approach.”

Schuster and KGI agreed to incubate the Minerva Schools at KGI, and WSCUC approved the arrangement, which has become a model of how to create and incubate a new institution within an existing one and is now part of WSCUC policy.

“It has been a remarkable experience and a fascinating relationship,” Schuster said. “This was not a financial arrangement; this is what you do if you’re an innovative organization that wants to learn and see how other people are leveraging technology to enhance learning, and re-evaluate the whole industry of higher education.”

Throughout the incubation process, the goal was always clear: get Minerva University initial accreditation while experimenting and learning how to improve outcomes.

“When we started out on this road, we were looking for a place to incubate and a way to create this new model,” said Teri Cannon, President of Minerva University.
“Minerva was determined to partner with an entrepreneurial and innovative school that prepares students to make a real difference in the world. KGI’s commitment to active learning; diversity; and access, paired with its approach to higher education was perfect for us,” said Cannon.

“We talked to other institutions, but none of them shared the same set of values about higher education the way we do. President Schuster was one of the first people we talked to and ended up being the last. We certainly wouldn’t be here without KGI.”

“The amount of learning that has come from this approach is an absolute revelation about what can be done using exciting combinations of residential, experiential, and virtual real-time learning,” said Schuster. “It is remarkable and extraordinarily effective.”

Minerva University’s accreditation is the culmination of an eight-year process where WSCUC carefully examined every aspect of its programs and operation: curriculum, pedagogy, planning, faculty and staff, governance, finances, and student outcomes. Minerva University has now graduated three undergraduate and three graduate classes with an alumni count of more than 400.

“We have a graduation rate approaching 90% within five years and over 88% of our alumni go into fantastic jobs or graduate school within six months of graduating,” Cannon said. “We have evidence that our students learn, retain, and apply all the way through their education to graduation and beyond.”

Minerva University’s outcomes mirror KGI’s. After more than two decades of placing alumni into leading life science and healthcare companies, KGI has a proven recipe for success.

“We are extraordinarily thrilled and happy for Minerva University, our sister institution,” Schuster said. “I want to thank Minerva for the incredible effort they put together. Congratulations!”

About Keck Graduate Institute (KGI)
KGI, a member of The Claremont Colleges, is a recognized leader in biotechnology and healthcare education. KGI offers innovative postgraduate degrees and certificates that integrate life and health sciences, business, pharmacy, engineering, and genetics, with a focus on industry projects, hands-on industry experiences, and team collaboration.

With an entrepreneurial approach and industry connections, KGI provides pathways for students to become leaders within healthcare and the applied life sciences. KGI consists of three schools: Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences, School of Community Medicine, and School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

About Minerva University
Minerva University, formerly Minerva Schools at KGI, offers a reinvented university experience for the brightest, most motivated students from around the world. Minerva’s undergraduate offering combines a pathbreaking cross-contextual interdisciplinary curriculum, the highest academic standards, an accomplished faculty versed in the science of learning, a global, urban residential experience that traverses seven countries, and a cutting-edge digital learning environment that produces deep and long-lasting learning. Minerva was envisioned and founded by Ben Nelson in 2011 and established through funds from the Minerva Project and generous donors who are passionate about reforming global higher education and providing access to that education for the most deserving students in the world. The groundbreaking creation of Minerva is detailed in the book Building the Intentional University: Minerva and the Future of Higher Education (MIT Press).