Great Connections is endorsed by academics, business leaders, artists. Here are a few:
1. "In one week students are enlightened."
In September of 2017 technology entrepreneur Jim Kandrac joined the board for The Great Connections. He had previously attended the seminar and also been featured in the seminar's "Meet the Achievers" program.
"Being an entrepreneur and business owner for 30 years, I have seen a significant decline in the preparedness and quality of students coming out of universities. College seems to have become an extension of high school. Most students learn once they get out into the 'real world' because they have not been challenged to think creatively for themselves and solve problems. They are force fed what to think and believe.
I have attended the Great Connections adult program and enjoyed participating and presenting at the Great Connections summer program for young adults in Chicago. I have witnessed first hand how, in just one week, the curriculum has enlightened students to be much better prepared for life. I am very excited to start working with Marsha and the board in developing and bringing to fruition the Great Connections nine-month Gap Year program for high school and college students."
“Students benefit from being challenged to think creatively for themselves.”
— Jim Kandrac, founder and CEO of UCG Technologies
2. "Experimentation is badly needed."
“In the nearly 30 years I have known Marsha Familaro Enright, we have discussed many topics surrounding education. These have ranged from the understanding of human cognition to the Montessori-inspired curricula she has designed, to the practical applications of these ideas to our own children. I have often enjoyed seeing Marsha speak to groups and have observed her skill in leading discussions. A theme that has transcended all of these experiences has been Marsha’s determination that education should train students to think well and independently.
I personally have been a lifelong advocate for the Montessori approach to education, and took every opportunity to place my own children in such environments. This worked out very well for them.
In my own teaching of science at the college and graduate levels, I have emphasized using sound methods to apply fundamental principles to the problem at hand, whatever it may be.
There are many things to appreciate about the diverse marketplace of colleges in the United States, and also many things to criticize. The USA has healthy diversity in some areas, including institutional size, class sizes, and things tuition pays for, but there is much less diversity in curricular and instructional approach. Broadly, experimentation is badly needed.
Specifically, I believe that approaches that emphasize training in independent, logical thinking, that apply Montessori principles at the college level, and that examine a wide range of fundamental ideas are important. For these reasons, I was pleased to become an Advisor to the Great Connections.”
3. An education pioneer weighs in
"Marsha is an experienced education entrepreneur who founded a school in the Chicago area that has thrived for 27 years. She has led The Great Connections for nine years, growing the program to serve a wide range of students. She has a proven ability to found and lead educational institutions.
The Great Connections may be unique in applying classical liberal principles across a significant scope of critical topics in a Socratic context that allows students to reflect upon and internalize the essential insights of the classical liberal tradition.
For those who follow campus trends, serious intellectual reflection on classical liberal principles has become all too rare on many campuses."
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