With colleges moving to an online or virtual environment for the fall semester, many students and parents are trying to look at alternatives and specifically gap year opportunities. No longer are gap year programs just for international travel as more and more programs are offering various work and volunteer opportunities locally and online.
Katherine Stievater, Founder & CEO of Gap Year Solutions, a Boston-based Gap Year advising company shares her insights on local gap year opportunities and how students can have a productive gap year amidst the pandemic.
- Life skills gathered from gap year experiences
- Incorporating work into your gap experience
- Intentional opportunities to help transition from high school to college
- Local domestic programs
- Establishing cohort groups to help students with transitioning back upon re-entry
- Companies offering virtual opportunities – Global Citizenship Academy and Boost
- The gap year experience as a “gift that keeps on giving”
- Pause and take some time to regroup before your next academic adventure
Important Resources and Links:
Meet Katherine Stievater
Katherine Stievater is the Founder & CEO of Gap Year Solutions, a Boston-based Gap Year advising company. Katherine is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and a member of the Board of Advisors of the national Gap Year Association where she also sits on the Standards & Accreditation and Annual Conference Planning Committees. Katherine has stayed involved with her alma mater Georgetown University for the last 15 years as an alumni interviewer and more recently got involved with Gap Years because she saw a big need to help our high schoolers make a successful transition to college. Just as importantly, she is the mother of 4 boys, 2 of whom are in or out of college, and 2 in high school. Her oldest son spent his junior year of high school at a Spanish language school in Spain, and her second oldest took a Gap Year.
Since she jumped into the Gap Year world over 5 years ago, she noticed how few people think of Gap Years as a real option before college, and has worked hard to grow the movement and raise awareness about the many benefits of Gap Years. Katherine has become a strong voice in the Gap Year community, speaking at libraries, schools, conferences, and other events across the country, and writing regularly about Gap Years, which is especially important now that COVID is causing such disruption in higher ed.
We enjoyed our conversation with Katherine today and we hope you did as well. Local gap year opportunities are out there and companies are being creative and innovative in their program offerings. Think about incorporating work experiences into your gap year experience as you never know what you might learn which could change the direction you take in college.