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Gap Year, a Year On

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  1. Gap Year, a Year On William S. McCulloch

  2. Agenda • Gap year - what it is and what it is not • Types of gap year activities • Benefits of gap year participation • Drawbacks of gap year participation • Ideal gap year candidates • Deciding to take a year on • Gap year planning process • Gap year programs • Frequently Asked Questions

  3. Gap year: What it is and what it is not A Year On  A Year Off  Unplanned Unemployment Vacation Sleeping on the couch all summer • Intentional • Planned • Goal driven • Long-term course Birch & Miller (2007); Engle (2010); Heath (2007); Jones (2004)

  4. Types of gap year activities Structured Unstructured Work paid internship part-time job Learning independent Travel “backpack across Europe” road trip across USA • Work • internship • career exploration • volunteer • Learning • organized • discover interests • get ahead • Travel • volunteer tourism • semester at sea DeLuca (2008); Heath (2007); Jones (2004); Simpson (2004); Simpson (2005)

  5. Benefits of participation • Gain • perspective • maturity • clearer plan • independence • accomplishment • motivation • Reduce • college dropout • Develop • interests • life skills • work skills • Earn • money • non-academic certifications • Have fun! Birch & Miller (2007); Bull (2006); Crume (2006); DeLuca (2008); Engle (2010); Gregory (2010); Jones(2004); Schwartz (2004); Smith(2009); Willcoxson, Cotter, & Joy (2011)

  6. Drawbacks of participation General Volunteer tourism Inability to deliver Cultural exchange Skill development Safety Idealized view vs. reality of experience Quality assurance Participant accreditation • Opportunity costs • time and money (earning) • Demotivation to return to school • Wasted time through poor planning • Academic disadvantage • Accrual of personal debt Jones (2004); Simpson (2004); Simpson (2005)

  7. Ideal gap year candidates • Everyone! • Lack of career guidance • Poor academic motivation • Financial need • College bound with a plan • Some colleges encourage a gap year • Note: some departments (i.e., math) discourage a gap in instruction Birch & Miller (2007); Bull (2006); Gergerich (2003); Harder (2006); Martin (2010)

  8. Deciding to take a year on • Influences • school • peers • parents • Information • guidance counselor • academic and career planning • participants • learn from their experiences Jones (2004); Wells & Lynch (2012)

  9. Planning considerations Finances College admissions and deferment Apply to college of choice Acceptance Request deferment provide plan of goals and benefits • Plan/budget early • Financing methods • Volunteer tourism • unpaid • travel cost • Provider fees • Stipends Engle (2010); Gregory (2010); Hustrand (2010); Jones (2004)

  10. Gap year programs • Year Out Group • www.yearoutgroup.org • Global Citizen Year • www.globalcitizenyear.org • AmeriCorps • www.americorps.gov • USA Gap Year Fairs • www.usagapyearfairs.org • Planet Gap Year • www.planetgapyear.com

  11. References AmeriCorps. (2012). Homepage. http://www.americorps.gov Birch, E., & Miller, P. W. (2007). The characteristics of ‘gap-year’ students and their tertiary academic outcomes. Economic Record,83(262), 329-344. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4932.2007.00418.x Bull, H. (2006). The possibilities of the gap year. Chronicle Of Higher Education, 52(44), 77. Crume, R. (2005). Is that child really ready for college? Journal Of College Admission, 188, 31-32. DeLuca, S. (2008, February 26). Delay is a disadvantage. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20080226/oppose26.art.htm Engle, T. (2010). Choosing a gap year can pay dividends for high school grads. Community College Week, 23(1), 20-22. Gergerich, S. (2003). Experts suggest a year off before college - if you can afford it. Community College Week, 15(25), 19. Global Citizen Year. (2012). Homepage. http://www.globalcitizenyear.org Gregory, S. (2010, September 21). Time out: Gauging the value of a gap year before college. Time. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,2015783,00.html Harder, B. (2006). The credibility in your gap year. U.S. News & World Report, 141(7), 98-99. Heath, S. (2007). Widening the gap: pre‐university gap years and the ‘economy of experience’. British Journal Of Sociology Of Education, 28(1), 89-103. doi:10.1080/01425690600996717 Hulstrand, J. (2010). Time out: The gap year abroad. International Educator, 19(2), 50. Jones, A. (2004). Review of gap year provision. Department for Education and Skills, RR555 University of London. Retrieved from https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/RR555.pdf

  12. References Martin, A. J. (2010). Should students have a gap year? Motivation and performance factors relevant to time out after completing school. Journal Of Educational Psychology, 102(3), 561-576. doi:10.1037/a0019321 Mitchell, J. (2012, May 31). Student debt rises by 8% as college tuitions climb. Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition. A5. Planet Gap Year. (2012). Homepage. http://www.planetgapyear.com Schwartz, S. (2004). Should young people delay college?: A modest proposal. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 84(4), 27-28. Simpson, K. (2004). ‘Doing development’: The gap year, volunteer-tourists and a popular practice of development. Journal of International Development16, 681–692 (2004) Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). DOI: 10.1002/jid.1120 Simpson, K. (2005). Dropping out or signing up? The professionalisation of youth travel. Antipode, 37(3), 447-469. doi:10.1111/j.0066-4812.2005.00506.x Smith, G. T. (2009, November 7). Advice for the college-bound: Wait. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/06/AR2009110603606.html USA Gap Year Fairs. (2012). Homepage. http://www.usagapyearfairs.org Wells, R. S., & Lynch, C. M. (2012). Delayed college entry and the socioeconomic gap: Examining the roles of student plans, family income, parental education, and parental occupation. Journal of Higher Education, 83(5), 671-697. Willcoxson, L., Cotter, J., & Joy, S. (2011). Beyond the first-year experience: The impact on attrition of student experiences throughout undergraduate degree studies in six diverse universities. Studies In Higher Education, 36(3), 331-352. doi:10.1080/03075070903581533 Year Out Group (YOG). (2012). Homepage. http://www.yearoutgroup.org