Tonight on CampusChat: The Gap Year
Mar16

Tonight on CampusChat: The Gap Year

#CampusChat – Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 9PM Eastern, 8 Central, 7 Mountain, 6 Pacific. Imagine you're a high school senior. You've applied to a few colleges but your heart's just not in to the outcome and you've got a feeling that maybe you're not quite ready for college.   Yet, you want to do something other than work at the local burger joint but you can't quite put your finger on what that could be.   Maybe taking a year off between graduation and going to college would be a good idea. That's what is known as "The Gap Year" and it's our topic on #CampusChat tonight. Carol Christen, author of What Color is Your Parachute for Teens, is tonight's co-host. We'll be joined by others who have expertise about Gap Year programs and opportunities.  To join us, follow the hashtag #CampusChat on Twitter and use this hashtag in every tweet you want to contribute to the conversation.  Resources: Twitter Tools for #CampusChat Note: this chat was originally scheduled for 03/09/11, but due to technical difficulties we had to cancel last week's chat and reschedule for 03/16/11. All books titles listed on this site can be purchased through our Smart College Visit Store, an Amazon...

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Discovering the Gap Year
Mar09

Discovering the Gap Year

By: Robin Pendoley and Kathy Cheng It’s a growing trend among high school graduates. Take a minute to learn about it whether it is right for you…What Is a Gap Year? A “gap year” is typically a period between completing high school and beginning college. This time can be either a semester or a full year away from traditional classroom studies. While there are countless reasons to consider a gap year, the most important is that gap year students are generally better prepared for college. Well-structured gap years provide opportunities to develop personal and social maturity, academic focus, and a sense of direction. With studies showing as many as 50% of college freshmen dropping out before graduation, it is clear that opportunities for this type of growth can be crucial. Beyond preventing dropping out, gap years can help ensure students get the most out of their college years. Recently, an admissions director at a prominent liberal arts college told me that analysis showed gap year students on his campus performing significantly better in the classroom and the college community than those who enrolled on the normal track. What does a typical gap year look like?  Gap years come in all shapes and sizes. They can include participating in an organized program, working or interning in a field of interest, volunteering with a local or national organization, pursuing athletics, or traveling. This time away from a traditional classroom provides students of all types crucial opportunities to: Gain “real world” perspective and direction that give the college years meaning and purpose Develop maturity and independence by joining professional communities as a volunteer or employee Attain the deep understanding of our local and global society that traditional schooling rarely provides Pursue various fields of interest to test or define a career path Should I consider a gap year? EVERY high school senior should consider a gap year. The benefits listed above make a good case for it. Yet, many students and families believe there are lots of reasons not to take a gap year. Let’s take a moment to dispel the MYTHS that stop them from taking a look at gap year options: They are too expensive – Gap year opportunities range from those that cost the same as a year of college to those that will pay you a stipend and an education award to participate. EVERYONE can afford a gap year. They are only for students who aren’t ready for college – Programs and individual options vary greatly, offering opportunities for essential learning and growth for all types of students. There is a strong risk that students won’t go back to school...

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