Victor Saad loved his job as a youth and family counselor in Chicago, but he was looking to further himself by taking the next step in his life. He considered a masters degree in social enterprise, but none of the programs he researched seemed to reflect what he was looking for. Without any optimal choices, how could he justify the expense? Im one of those guys who learn best when I get uncomfortable, Saad said in a TEDx talk in 2013. When I have to learn. Thats why Saad leapt. Declaring 2012 his Leap Year Project, he set up 12 immersive learning experiences, a self-made curriculum built on risk-takinga master of his own design. Now Saad runs the Experience Institute, where students form their own graduate-level programs designed to throw them right into the deep end. The institute is now accepting applications for next September.