The Gap Year Association recently named February as “Gap Year Exploration Month,” an event designed to give attention to the options available to students who don’t want to jump right into college.
“Gap Year Exploration Month seeks to empower students to understand the vast array of opportunities available for gap time and research paths that are right for them,” the association wrote in a blog post.
“Behind this initiative is a passionate group of educators, program providers and others who want to help promote the benefits of gap time.”
Editor’s Note: National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, is always celebrated the first full week in February. Learn more about this year’s celebration and use the comment section below to let us know what you hope your students learn from you.
Every year, I say goodbye to a group of students I’ve shepherded through the college application process. We’ve spent a lot of time together. Obviously, we’ve talked about college. But we’ve also spent a lot of time talking about life, their hopes and dreams, the challenges they’ve faced. As I brace myself for the inevitable separation, this is what I hope they’ve learned from me.
A group of admission deans and researchers have banded together to form a new coalition dedicated to studying gap year outcomes.
The new Gap Year Research Consortium—based at Colorado College—will seek to determine how students who take an intentional gap year before college fare upon their return to the classroom.
“As long-time supporters of the gap year movement, we believe that creating a clearinghouse for the research that is going on at colleges and universities around the country is the logical next step in better understanding the positive outcomes that can come from taking a gap year,” Colorado College Vice President of Enrollment Mark Hatch said in a news release.
The Class of 2022 is home from college for their first winter break and many parents are seeing a new dynamic in their relationship with their children.
These college freshmen have just had their first taste of independence and striking the right balance can be tough for families.
“This is the hard work of being the parent to a college student,” parenting expert and doctor Deborah Gilboa told the Washington Post. “You got them here, now it’s time to let them go and let them thrive.”
Parents don’t need to be tech-savvy to raise girls who are interested in STEM.
A recent poll found that parents’ proficiency with technology has only marginal effects on girls’ excitement about the subject.
“This survey shows that, contrary to popular belief, girls are interested in tech, and that they will seek out instruction regardless of their parents’ affinity with technology,” according to Tracey Welson-Rossman, founder and CEO of TechGirlz — a nonprofit organization that worked with Drexel University (PA) to conduct the survey. “It should reassure parents they can set their daughters on the path to a rewarding, empowering career in tech with support and encouragement, even if they do not understand the subject matter themselves.”
An academic in Australia has one major piece of advice for students before they head to university: Take a gap year.
“School might have prepared students intellectually for a tertiary education, but there is lots school can’t prepare you for — and that’s how to deal with real people in the real world,” Jenna Price, who works at the University of Technology in Sydney, wrote in The Sydney Morning-Herald.
Though a gap year alone won’t turn a C-student into an A-student, she said there is a significant difference in the overall performance of students who’ve taken a break from formal education.
Nearly 70 percent of college students work while enrolled in school, but the types of jobs they hold and the hours they work vary based on their socioeconomic status, according to a recent report from Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce (CEW).
“When they choose to work…higher-income students have access to the best jobs and work experience, such as internships and assistantships,” according to a CEW press release. “Low-income students are more likely than higher-income students to work in food service, sales, and administrative support jobs while enrolled. Work experience in these jobs provides basic life skills like conscientiousness and teamwork, but does not provide the deeper technical and general skills that foreshadow good career entry-level jobs.”
And in many cases, the demands of these positions exacerbate the challenges students face in the classroom.
Students across the country are now back in school, and for many families, conversations about life after high school are just beginning.
#NACACreads author Ned Johnson has some advice for parents as they help guide their children through the college search and selection process. Johnson and William Stixrud, who together penned The Self-Driven Child, shared tips in a recent article published by U.S. News & World Report.
One takeaway for moms and dads: Resist the urge to micromanage.
All parents are eager to help set up their children for success, but in too many cases, they’re going about it in the wrong way.
That’s one message included in the new book, The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives. And increasingly, the trend is impacting the way students embark on the college search and selection process, author Ned Johnson noted during a Wednesday #NACACreads Twitter chat.
“One of the best things to say to kids is that we have confidence in their decisions,” he tweeted. “Learning comes through trial and error.”