No, we do not. Our successful entrepreneur teachers believe the MBA degree is obsolete, as shown by the rapidly declining number of admissions at traditional business schools all around the world.
So just as we disrupted the MBA industry with our accelerated one year MBA program led by successful entrepreneurs in 2002; and again with our hybrid super-accelerated program in 2010, our Next Great Adventure program will offer aspiring entrepreneurs a better, faster, far less expensive – and most importantly, more meaningful path to a successful, satisfying and fulfilling life as an entrepreneur.
We’ll feature the same virtual MyEJ courses as in the past, except adding successful entrepreneurs like the Acton Teachers as personal Socratic mentors. Admission to the Acton Games and on-campus Socratic courses will be earned, not automatic. Because of the improved approach, we’re able to greatly reduce the time and cost of an Acton experience, and offer additional courses on an a-la-carte basis, as needed, when needed.
However, in order to innovate freely and continue to offer life changing courses taught by successful entrepreneurs instead of tenured academics, we’ve replaced the traditional MBA degree with the NGA: a ticket to your Next Great Adventure in life.
What exactly is a Next Great Adventure (NGA)?
The Next Great Adventure program arms entrepreneurs with the skills, judgment and mindset to develop a superpower, master a domain or industry and build a thriving community to make an important difference in the world.
On the final day, in a room filled with successful entrepreneurs, industry icons, family and friends, each Acton scholar has ten minutes to deliver a heartfelt pitch about who he has become, what she promises to deliver in a specific industry and role; what help is needed and what he promises in return.
Is Acton right for me? Why should I attend?
Acton prepares principled entrepreneurs to lead extraordinary lives as they pursue their calling with urgency. Acton is the right place for you if you…
Would rather chart your own path in life rather than work your way up the corporate ladder.
Want to learn the skills, tools and judgement needed to launch, grow and harvest a successful business.
Value asking the right questions more than knowing the right answers.
Want a direction and calling in life, delivered by successful entrepreneurs, more than a hollow credential delivered by tenured professors who have never run a business.
How is Acton’s NGA different from an MBA program at Harvard or Stanford? What are the benefits?
Acton’s NGA delivers more value, in less than half the time and a fraction of the cost of a traditional MBA, allowing you to jump start your entrepreneurial journey and pursue your calling with urgency. But our methodology is what sets us apart. Acton immerses you in real-life challenges in order to learn the skills required to start, build, and run a successful business rather than focusing on a curriculum made up of business theory.
Our faculty is composed of successful entrepreneurs, not academics, who provide real-life insight into what it takes to build and run a business. Our use of the Socratic Method in our on-campus classes emphasizes asking the right questions rather than knowing the right answers. Put simply – at Acton you learn how to think like an entrepreneur.
Is Acton accredited?
For almost two decades Acton has been accredited through Hardin-Simmons University by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and most recently was in good standing with the Higher Learning Commission. However, in order to allow us to innovate freely and continue to disrupt business education, we are relinquishing any and all accreditation to free us from bureaucratic constraints.
What makes your teachers unique?
Our teaching core is composed of successful entrepreneurs, not academics. Their courses are firmly rooted in real-world experience. Each teacher signs contracts with their students, committing to each other’s success. At the end of the year, students evaluate our entrepreneur-teachers who know that if they don’t give their best, they won’t be asked to return.
Does Acton offer career services? What happens after students graduate?
Absolutely not. Instead, we offer a Next Great Adventure, where you declare the new path you’ve discovered and make promises about how you will use your gifts, surrounded by successful entrepreneurs from your industry who can help.
If you’re looking for a career services department to walk you into a corporate cubicle, Acton is not the right place.
What should I expect from the on-campus semester at Acton?
In order to attend the on-campus semester, you must be eligible and receive an invitation. At the end of the semester, a select few may be invited to enroll in additional courses — either immediately afterward or at a later date.
Set in one of the most entrepreneurial cities in America, Acton’s on-campus semester models the life you’ll face as an entrepreneur. Expect hundred-hour work weeks filled with Socratic case discussions, simulations and other hands-on challenges.
You’ll be led by successful entrepreneurs who will challenge you with the frameworks, tools and questions you’ll need to become a master entrepreneur.
A typical on campus day at Acton:
6:00am – 8:00am – Meet in Study Groups
8:00am – 12:30pm – Classes and Simulations
1:00pm – Midnight or later – Individual case preparation
What are some of your graduates doing now?
As a result of the program, 94 percent of Acton alumni say they are moving in the direction of their calling, with 62 percent of our graduates switching industry or function after attending. 66 percent of Acton alumni are now running their own companies. The average time to start a company after graduation is 1.6 years.
Alumni companies span various industries, including Financial Services (9%), Educational Services (9%), Food and Beverage Manufacturing (9%), Healthcare and Social Assistance (7%), Oil and Gas (7%), and more. 23% of alum companies are startups, with 52% in the early growth phase.
Admissions & Financial
What is your admissions process?
We offer an audition and a series of challenges, rather than an application process for a traditional MBA program. The initial audition is designed to screen for grit, authenticity and entrepreneurial drive, as well as strong moral values and a desire to change the world.
After a successful audition, aspiring entrepreneurs are invited into the virtual MyEJ program, and after a short period paired with a successful entrepreneur, like an Acton teacher, who will serve as a personal mentor, in a Socratic way (providing questions, not answers.)
A select group will be invited to the Acton Games, to cooperate and compete in a survival-challenge-themed contest to qualify for Acton’s Socratic courses on our Austin, Texas campus.
On campus we’ll offer 80 to 100 hour weeks in the Entrepreneurial Journey and Life of Meaning-Next Great Adventure series, with an option over time to take up to eight additional courses in subjects like Customers, Operations and Cash and Valuation, either on campus or in a hybrid format.
How much does Acton cost?
One of the benefits of the Next Great Adventure program is that it allows you to pace your Acton journey in a way that works for your budget.
Most aspiring entrepreneurs who proceed all the way through the Next Great Adventure talks will spend up to $14,500 for the guided MyEJ virtual courses, the Acton Games and on-campus Entrepreneurial Journey and Life of Meaning-Next Great Adventure series.
However, it is possible to take the first series of MyEJ virtual courses for as little as $1500 if you do not continue past the first part of the program, and add subsequent courses as time and budget allow.
Aspiring entrepreneurs who are invited to campus may add up to eight additional courses in subjects like Customers, Operations and Cash and Valuation, either on campus or in a hybrid format for $2500 each, as time and budget allow.
Tuition includes all fees and course materials. When developing a budget, be sure to consider — in addition to tuition — the cost of housing, utilities, food, personal insurance, and a laptop computer (required). Private loans are available to our students to help with financing. Hear from our alumni for first-hand accounts on whether Acton is worth it.
How much do I have to pay for books during the program?
Acton’s students do not have to purchase any books for the program; all books, cases, simulations and simulation supplies are provided to the students. Students are required to have their own working laptop.
Where do the on-campus semesters take place?
On campus classes take place at the Acton campus located just south of downtown Austin, Texas on Riverside Drive.
Does Acton provide any student housing?
No, Acton students are responsible for finding and providing their own housing. With Acton’s location just across the river from downtown Austin, there are plenty of apartment and house rental options that will plant you in the heart of the city and close to campus.