Forward-Thinking Learning

About Quest Forward Learning

Teens will face a rapidly changing job market and economic circumstances that will require them to be nimble, adaptable, problem solvers when they graduate.

And yet, most high schools do not prepare them for that future.

Instead, students are mostly trained to take tests to show the results of memorization, resulting in a student that fails to realize their potential.

Opportunity Education supports schools with Quest Forward Learning, offering: a high school program that engages students in active learning through discovery and problem solving, enabling them to gain the skills they need to succeed in the future.

Opportunity Education Founder and CEO Joe Ricketts

The Vision: Students Capable to Achieve their Dreams

Quest Forward Learning realizes the vision of Opportunity Education’s founder, billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist Joe Ricketts, for a better way for young adults to learn and succeed. In today’s rapidly changing economies, young people need a growth mindset, well-practiced habits that enable them to learn and work effectively, and the skills to understand the world, solve problems and make an impact.

Quest Forward Learning gives high schools around the world the tools they need to offer a high-quality education to their students that meets academic standards and provides daily opportunities for mindset, habits, and skills growth.

Quest Forward Learning Focuses on 3 Key Abilities

Instead of pushing content memorization and testing, Quest Forward Learning engages students in real-world, relevant problems, giving them opportunities to practice the mindset, habits, and skills they will need to achieve their dreams.



Growth Mindset

Students learn to learn, and understand that their ability to learn new habits and skills will drive their success long-term.


Essential Habits

Students practice 6 Essential Habits, which enable them to learn more effectively, work well with others, overcome setbacks, and meet the challenges of tomorrow. 

A Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa student with goggles on pours a liquid into a beaker.


Learning Skills

Each academic course enables students to practice 5 skills groups, which are reinforced across academic subjects and years. Skills include analysis, reasoning, communication, and more.


Testing dominates the experience of students at other high schools, and the research is clear: tests and grades rarely improve learning and growth, but instead teach students to focus on short-term, externally-defined requirements. Quest Forward Learning offers an alternative that combines rigorous performance assessment with support for learning and growth.

Quest Forward Learning teachers assess students in 3 primary ways:

1. Engagement: Teachers observe each student’s engagement in all class periods. These scores are used as high-frequency, low-stakes impressions that help teachers and students improve the value of classroom time.

2. Artifacts: When students complete an artifact, their teachers evaluate it in four ways: learning, timeliness, effort, and support needed. The resulting scores are used to provide feedback to the student for targeted growth in specific areas and focus on both the learning outcomes and on the learning process.

3. Skills: Teachers also assess a student’s competence level on skills, demonstrated by the artifact. Skill competence is scored as Not Familiar, Familiar, Developing, Proficient, and Mastering.

Support for Years After High School

All students enrolled in a Quest Forward Academy or School have access to the Pathways Program, a support program offered by Opportunity Education. Students join the Pathways Program when they enroll at a Quest Forward Academy or Quest Forward School, and participate through high school into their choice of college, trade school, the military, or a job with training opportunities, and until they are settled into their chosen career.

The Pathways Program offers students career and college counseling each year in high school, supported by detailed career and personality exploration activities. Pathways also engages students in real-world internships in local organizations and businesses, to ensure students gain useful experiences before selecting a trade or college education, a job, or a military career.

Since the Pathways Program engages students from all schools using Quest Forward Learning worldwide, young adults also become part of a global network of capable problem solvers and value creators, who share a similar mindset, habits, and skills.

Participation in Pathways opens each student’s perspective on their future much wider than most high schools currently do, and ensures young adults identify a path for their own future that aligns with their purpose and dreams.

Download Pathways Overview