The Raikes School Story

The Raikes School
The Raikes School is creating next-generation problem solvers and design thinkers. David Keck, Inaugural Raikes School Director

If you ask David Keck how he would define the Raikes School, you had better have a pen and paper handy.

“The Raikes School is a total immersion over four years in interdisciplinary, innovative design and development with an academic focus on computer science and management.”

It sounds simple at first. But then Keck goes on.

“Academically, our focus is computer science and management—that’s what our students formally get degrees in. However, more and more, we’re looking between the topics. Computer science and management was our original mandate, but in between those two disciplines is where interdisciplinary design and innovation really reside.”

Sound a little unconventional? It is. And the Raikes School wouldn’t have it any other way.

Established in 1999 as a joint venture between the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s College of Business Administration and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the Raikes School is an honors program with a mission to develop world-class innovators and leaders through honors education. Nestled inside the university’s Kauffman Center, the program offers a unique living and learning community that enables students to freely engage in collaborative project work via student residences, faculty offices, project work areas and meeting rooms.

Boasting a 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio and a mean ACT score of 33.7, the Raikes School is drawing the nation’s best and brightest minds to Lincoln, Nebraska. But it’s once they’re inside Kauffman that the real magic happens. Students embark on a four-year core curriculum consisting of honors computer science, business and management topics, as well as leadership, team and communication skills development teachings.

Expounding on the Raikes School’s standing as a hub of interdisciplinary innovation, Keck states, “When we say ‘design thinking,’ we’re talking about processes that are interdisciplinary and repeatable. You hear people say, ‘We’re going to be creative and think outside-of-the-box.’ But without a repeatable process that helps you understand the need, or the gap, you’re not going to achieve an innovation.”

“At the Raikes School, we’re preparing students to become innovators—not just saying so.”