Higher Education

Transformative Colleges Initiative

Ecosystemic Approach to the Economics of Higher Education

Let’s Transform Higher Education to be Affordable, Accessible, and Good for the Neighborhood!

Higher Education is a social good and an engine for better futures.

But college is increasingly unaffordable and student debt burdens generations of Americans, eroding the economic and overall well-being of neighborhoods, families, and individuals across the country.

Could colleges do anything differently?

At Trinity we believe that we can. But we can’t do it alone. Working together with our local communities to reimagine college to be more reflective of the generosity, abundance, and connection that sustains the world as God has made it, we can transform higher education to be affordable and accessible to students in the greater Chicago area and beyond.

A shift in the way we look at the world led us, at Trinity Christian College, to try root-causes solutions to student debt by restructuring our institution and facilitating the flourishing and thriving of our students.

We made three key changes:

We radically shifted our class schedule to make more time for our students’ well-being leading to improvements in students’ mental health.

We turned to our local ecosystem and partnered with local businesses and community organizations to create the Earn, Network, and Learn, which creates opportunities for paid learning experiences that help students pay for their tuition, while also benefiting local businesses and local communities, as well as our institution.

Building Promising PathwayS TO ELIMINATE STUDENT DEBT

These changes helped us build promising pathways to eliminate student debt. And we are also learning that joining our local community in their hopes for healing and thriving, has the potential to ignite transformation and revitalization in neighborhoods all over Greater Chicago.

Yes! Thinking about Higher Education as part of a thriving local economy in a particular context, can help us create pathways to a shared economy together with businesses, neighbors, and civic associations.