Champlain College is excited to announce the launch of the Virtual Gap Program, an inspiring semester-long journey into college life, holistic well-being, and career exploration.
Champlain’s unique program offers college credit, allows students to take on virtual internships for real-world clients, and is the first fully virtual gap year program available through an accredited college.
Recent data shows 1.2% of first-year students at four-year colleges and universities waited (or ‘deferred’) a year to enter college. Not surprisingly, the number will likely increase this fall due to uncertainties brought on by COVID-19. A Carnegie Dartlet Senior Fall Decision Study revealed that about one in three students is willing to defer or cancel their fall semester if schools go totally online. Gap year programs give young adults access to new growth experiences, cultures, and ways of thinking, but in this unprecedented time, many standard programs are unavailable and there’s a greater need for students to remain on a career-driven academic track.
Champlain is prepared and excited to help students take this moment to consider what’s important to them, and will offer Virtual Gap students a way to explore the world, ponder big ideas, improve their well-being, and gain internship experience—all from the safety and comfort of their own home.
“Champlain College’s Virtual Gap Program is the first custom learning experience developed from the ground up that meets the diverse goals of recent high school grads and the unique challenges of these times,” said Champlain College Incoming President Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande. “The program builds on our tradition of innovation, entrepreneurship, and extensive virtual learning expertise, and squarely puts new students on a path for personal, academic, and career success.”
Over the course of 15 weeks, students will explore well-being and the human brain and how mindfulness can be applied to all aspects of life—both in and outside of the classroom. They’ll begin an intellectual adventure, uncovering international and cultural experiences, learn from leading innovators of our time, and dive into big ideas—from game theory to design thinking. These credit-bearing courses will conclude with a virtual internship, opening participants’ minds to the professional world and broadening their career prospects. Students will gain real-world experience working on collaborative teams on virtual internships with organizations in Champlain’s extensive employer network, with mentorship support from Champlain College experts.
The program begins the week of August 31, 2020 and is open to high-school graduates aged 18-21. Students who successfully complete the program will be given priority consideration for admission to Champlain College through an accelerated admissions process. Financial aid is available as part of some Virtual Gap Program options.
“Today’s young adults are facing great uncertainty during a period of life that sets the stage for their futures. Many are experiencing a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety, leaving them feeling ‘stuck,’ and making it difficult for them to learn and grow. Well-being, career prospects, and personal exploration can couple with academics to support overall, holistic growth and set recent high school graduates up for success,” said Dr. Kimberly Quinn, Faculty Member and Well-being & Success Coach at Champlain College. “During times like these, a gap year can be a period of great progress—a way to move forward. Young adults in Champlain’s Virtual Gap Program can use this time to build the awareness and positive momentum needed to be successful in both the academic and professional worlds.”