Gap Year Planning - for parents

For Parents

Research shows that students who take a structured Gap Year program are more likely to be better prepared for the responsibilities of college. StY has vetted programs that offer experiences committed to the continued development of life skills, including engagement with the global community, a structured level of inquiry, and self-reflection through travelling, volunteering, interning or working.

If a student is deferring for a year, StY encourages them to speak with the Admissions Office regarding their college’s policies.

When researching programs it is very important to ask this question of the directors/coordinators. Along with the ratio of student to adult mentors, you will want to know how their staff is trained to manage the multiple situations that might occur, especially emergencies. For example, when we vet a program we ask: Is your staff trained in CPR and crisis management? Are adult mentors certified to teach? If not, what is the minimum teaching experience required?
Every program SHOULD have a drug and alcohol policy. This policy should be clearly articulated in the contractual agreement you will be asked to sign. When we vet a program, we ask, “Historically, how may students have been sent home for not complying with your policies and what happens to a participant who did not comply?” StY looks for policies consistent with university and college best practices.
StY encourages you to identify programs with clearly articulated and detailed emergency evacuation strategies and procedures in place. We recommend programs traveling to countries with strong relationships with the United States.
Each program has developed their own policies regarding parent and student interactions consistent with their pedagogical outcomes.