Q: What IS a pop-up university anyway?
A: A pop-up university is a temporary, community-driven project that allows regular people to teach and take courses on topics that interest them. In this case, courses “pop up” all over town as well – in community spaces, businesses, and private homes.
A pop-up university is part of a growing trend of community pop-up projects: stores, markets, festivals, and other services that appear in public spaces for short periods of time and help build community.
Q: Can I take a course?
A: You bet! If you’re a resident of Bethel or surrounding towns and you’re interested in taking a course, there are just three easy steps:
1. Check our list of courses (posted in early February) and find one that interests you. Read the full course description to be sure the dates and times work for you. Note that a few of the course have limitations on ages or prior skills, or require certain materials.
2. Register to participate. You can use our online form or register in person at the Bethel Village Sandwich Shop or Bethel Public Library.
3. Watch your email for confirmation. Most courses have limitations on the maximum number of people, so you won’t be officially registered until you receive a confirmation.
Q: What do I get for participating?
A: New skills! New friends! An awesome diploma at the end! What more could you want?
Q: Can I teach a course?
A: Yes! Anyone can teach a course on pretty much any topic under the sun. You do not have to have a college degree or years of experience. You can teach whether you’re 10 or 100 years old. You can teach at whatever time and place work for you. Watch this site or sign up for news – proposals usually open around the beginning of the new year.
Q: How can my community start a pop-up university?
A: If you want to follow Bethel’s lead, then it’s pretty simple. Get a group of volunteers who want to make it happen, find a small amount of funding to support marketing and the courses, and start planning. We received a generous grant from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Small & Inspiring Grant Fund in 2014 to help make Bethel University happen. If you have specific questions about how we planned or organized this event, feel free to be in touch. We’re very happy to share documents, ideas, and lessons learned.
More questions??? Drop us a line and we’ll respond when the tailgate is over.