Black Moutain SOLE

Untitled-1Today I wanted to share with all of you an interesting partnership that I have started, its with a non profit here in NC called Black Mountain SOLE.  I first heard from them because they were in love with tiny houses and then I from there I got to see the exciting things they are doing.  Black Mountain SOLE is the next evolution of education, the SOLE actually stands for Self Organized Learning Environment.

The concept is that students enter into a self directed learning process, where passionate students learn real world skills as they pursue their “big idea”.  Along the way they get consistent coaching from mentors and business leaders to help take their idea from concept to reality, while developing income along the way.  Now at first I was a bit skeptical about the true viability of such a model, then I learned of how many processes, key staff and a well appointed campus they have in place to take a person passion into a well defined learning process.

Here is a photo I snapped of the road to their campus… its so gorgeous there!


The concept instantly resonated with me because I have a Bachelors and a  Master’s, which have served me well, but did little to teach me real world skills.  Take this blog for example.  The amount of things that I have had to learn to run this blog is really incredible now that I think about it.  I have to know web coding, server management, SEO, taxes, budgeting, marketing, keep up with tiny houses, publishing, building codes, building techniques, and most importantly: how to build relationships.  These are things that no classroom (as far as I know & as of now) will ever be able to teach you in a few years.  It also goes to point out that learning doesn’t stop, I was up till 2am last night researching something new for you all.

So the reason I thought I’d post this is because I think its an interesting concept, I’ll be doing some work with them on tiny houses and I think a lot of the ideals that they hold have major overlap with the tiny house community.  They are doing a scholarship contest check it out here

Some neat things that they will have:

  • Business coaches and mentors
  • Co working spaces
  • A full facility including cafeteria, dorms, work spaces
  • Located in gorgeous Black Mountain, NC minutes from Asheville



  1. Interesting – I suspect they only work within your state,though?

    • They have a campus in Black Mountain and they are having students come from all over. Really interesting concept, even more interesting people doing innovative things.

  2. I think I just need to move to NC… 🙂 Cool concept!

    • As an official Tiny House NC representative, we would not object to this!

    • I second this idea! If you join Tiny House NC you get a cape… just saying.

  3. Thanks Ryan for posting an article about Black Mountain SOLE. I’m really glad I made the decision to move out here and experiment with this new type of higher education institute. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Hope to have you out here again soon!

  4. As a founding member of Tiny House NC I would gladly pack up my monocle and head over to the SOLE campus to teach. I too have a bachelors and a masters. In fact, I have my M.Ed. believe it or not. So….well, jus sayin’

    NC is the state to be in!

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