How to do college better | Michelle Jones | TEDxSalem

Michelle Jones is the founder and president of a small non-profit 2 years college she started a few years ago in response to criticisms about the higher education system in the US being broken. During her 15 years teaching Leadership and Organizational Behavior courses in the traditional college system, she had a front-row seat for what students and faculty were experiencing. Several years ago, she gathered a group of like-minded folks around a vision of what a revolution in higher education could look like. After years of helping groups and non-profits organize for social impact as a volunteer (SuperThank, TEDxMtHood, World Domination Summit) Michelle started her legacy project and a new kind of college – Wayfinding Academy – was born.

Interpretation for TEDxSalem VI (2019) was provided by student interns through a collaboration between Western Oregon University, TEDxSalem, and the Deaf and interpreting communities of Oregon. The volunteer student interpreters were supported by volunteer, certified interpreters in order to minimize potential errors. Your support of these pre-professional interpreters’ growing skills is appreciated. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

18 thoughts on “How to do college better | Michelle Jones | TEDxSalem”

  1. This has been so helpful! I’m a freshman currently at a four year university and I’m currently questioning my path as to how I want to accomplish my career goals. I thought I wanted the ‘typical college experience’. Now l’m understanding the weight, financially mostly, of my academic choices. I attend a stem based university however I want to seek more design opportunities in a more uplifting environment that supports design as a career. This realization has also allowed me to question the importance of college and how I choose to further my education. Rather than looking for the ‘college experience’, I am putting a greater importance on what education path is best for me along with my well being. This video has helped me so much with having more confidence and assertion with my choices. Thank you!!

  2. If you open in India and reach out to everybody, you will be having the highest number of students. I truly mean it.

  3. I'd like this video to be more shared. The ideas can be implemented, even parts of them would help.
    I am one of that "promising high school students" who quietly building his perspectives in life now. This kind of videos and talks are really helpful to understand what this bright side of improving the world is like, how many smart (in terms of ideas and acomplishing them) people out of 7 b. are here. This kind of "I could ask their opinion about my future projects on the stage of planning by email" feel makes me really happy.
    I hope by the time I rise completly I will visit them and say my gratitudes ^ _^)

  4. Thank you so much, Michelle, this helped me so much to start thinking about what I actually want in life, what makes me happy and helps me find purpose. I wish you so much love, health, and happiness for this year and the rest of your life!!

  5. Goddard College

    Goddard College is the experiment in higher education that you overlooked. No SAT or GPA scores needed. Design your own curriculum. Two years and low-residency so you can continue your work in your community while building your cohort with students around the country.

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