Taking Notes: Eye on Education – A New Online University!

Taking Notes: Eye on Education – A New Online University!

This column focuses on a wide range of issues affecting post-secondary students. Students are encouraged to submit suggestions and educational topics they are concerned about, or personal experiences with courses or university situations they feel other students should know about. If suggest a topic or a course alert for taking notes, contact voice@ausu.org, attn: Debbie Jabbour


The most recent incarnation of Donald Trump’s reality show, The Apprentice, featured a battle between a street smarts team and a book smarts team. Members of the former team had become successful with little more than a high school education, while members of the latter team all had university education, some holding several prestigious degrees. Overall, both teams performed equally well, although the final winner did come from the book smarts team.

Donald Trump himself attended business school and has earned a reputation as an extremely wealthy and highly successful businessman. Mr. Trump has vast prime real estate holdings and interests in entertainment, sports and beauty pageants. He has written several books on the topic of success and through his television show, shares his wisdom and life philosophy every week. In the show, he makes it very clear that, although he respects the street smarts ethic, he is a strong believer in university education as important for professional success. It should therefore not come as a surprise that his next venture is Trump University!

Trump’s university does not offer formal degrees or traditional classes. Short, focused lessons are offered through online courses, CD-ROMs, consulting services and seminars in specific subjects that “emphasize practice over theory” (Associated Press, 2005). The first three courses (i.e., introductions to real estate, marketing and entrepreneurship) are offered at $300 each, with a duration of two to three weeks for completion. The online format does not involve textbooks, lectures, grades or teachers. Instead, each course has cohorts of six to 12 students working through the material and submitting assignments to classmates for peer review. Trump believes there is a need for high quality education in today’s “hyper-competitive business climate,” (Ibid.) and suggests that his do-it-yourself approach will appeal to people looking “beyond the traditional business education model, which involves hours in the classroom and relies primarily on book learning” (Ibid.). Mr. Trump also suggests Trump University may eventually develop into a full-fledged brick-and-mortar institution.

Associated Press (2005, May 25). What’s next for Apprentice star? Trump University. Edmonton Journal.

Sources for additional information
Donald Trump biography. Retrieved May 30, 2005, from http://www.woopidoo.com/biography/donald-trump.htm
Trump University [web site]. Retrieved May 30, 2005, from http://www.trumpuniversity.com/.