The Hybridization of Higher Education

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything. It has altered how we shop, how we work, and how we travel. And as a new academic year races to the forefront, that same critical eye is now being turned towards the education system. 

This discussion has begged a laundry list of hard-to-answer questions. Is it safe for students to return to campus? How can colleges make it safe? Is returning worth the risks? 

But perhaps the harder – more rewarding – question to answer is: Can we take advantage of this restructuring and find a better way to conduct high learning altogether?  

That’s where 2U comes in. Part-online, part-in-person, and all built with community in mind. 2U is powering world-class online higher education by going beyond traditional learning management systems. Using tech, people and data to help top universities conform to the digital era, 2U is succeeding at its mission of eliminating the back row.

Led by CEO, co-founder, and today’s guest, Christopher – Chip – Paucek, 2U is transforming education as we know it.

The company was founded in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, but Chip’s journey in education began long before 2U. His first foray into the education space and entrepreneurship began with the Cerebellum Corporation, a company that created educational content for kids before the internet existed. 

After leaving Cerebellum and pursuing various career paths including a brief stint in politics, Chip put the founder hat back on and helped launch 2U.  

Today, Chip joins Hidden in Plain Sight to discuss his journey, the work he and his team are doing at 2U, and how a decision Chip made when he was in his 40s set the foundation for 2U. Plus, he dives into the tech and data at the center of it all.


Episode 31