With the radical proposition of teaching one student at a time, Dennis Littky and Elliott Washor formed Big Picture Learning. Their first school, The Metropolitan Regional Career And Technical Center (The Met) opened 25 years ago in Providence. Its success spurred the development of a global network of schools, but starting with student interest and constructing a pathway to success remains a radical proposition—in high school and especially in college.
Ten years ago, Littky posted an invitation on Facebook inviting college dropouts to a meeting. He had 78 people show up including a lot of single moms and folks working two jobs. With obvious need, Littky and Adam Bush launched College Unbound to extend the Met’s student-centered approach to help first-generation low-income working adults complete a college degree.
In his trademark kofia and colorful shoes, Littky looks more like an artist than a college president. His authentic style and genuine care quickly earns the trust of adults that faced numerous barriers and achieved limited educational success.