After a couple dozen successes, Howard Tullman is building Flashpoint Academy, which he calls the front seat of the world stage

Leigh Buchanan:

That genre–or rather, that industry (clarity trumps metaphor, as the storytelling-obsessed Tullman would tell you)–is vocational education. “It’s a shame that the United States is the only country in the world where it’s considered downscale and horrible to go to any kind of vocational school,” says Tullman, pecking at his computer, which is wired to a large screen that barrages visitors to his office with wow-inducing videos and applications created by Flashpoint students and faculty. “Everyplace else, there are apprenticeships, vocational training, all kinds of paths to be successful. We need that here.”
Tullman believes training young people to fill tomorrow’s jobs is this country’s best shot at reducing unemployment and staying globally competitive. Tomorrow’s jobs, of course, is code for technology, a subject, Tullman argues, traditional four-year colleges teach poorly because faculty aren’t in the field keeping current and students don’t work across departments in interdisciplinary teams, as happens in the real world. “Part One was that every other school was teaching in these silos with tenured faculty who weren’t learning new technologies,” says Tullman, explaining what attracted him to the idea for Flashpoint, which was brought to him in 2007 by Ric Landry, the company’s co-founder. “Part Two was you had a group of kids that were only interested in digital and were not going to go to a four-year liberal-arts school and end up with their futures in hock.”