2017 GAP YEAR CONFERENCE


Gap Year Conference - American Gap Association, Taylor the Gap, Kevin Hermann Copywriting

The conference will be held in advance of, and in partnership with, the IECA Spring conference and is slated to have some exciting opportunities. The 2016 conference doubled our attendees over the previous year in Baltimore, and we expect to do the same in Denver, limiting the number to 300 attendees. We will have some incredibly valuable discussion and presentations on key topics, some great networking, an experiential component, and some great food! As well, we are proud to reprise the highly successful "Gap n Go" all-day speed dating option (for an additional fee) to meet with registered IECA Members in a more intimate setting. This promises to be a collaborative and growth-forward event bringing together Colleges that offer and support the Gap Year, Gap Year Providers, Gap Year Partners, and of course, Educational Consultants and Specialists. We are making specific efforts to be inclusive and of value to our College partners this coming year, and look forward to a fantastic event!

Logistics (Hotel, Shipping, etc.):

  • ACCOMMODATION. AGA has negotiated a discounted hotel rate of $169 plus tax. The contracted rate is good until either the room block sells out or until April 12, 2017. Availability and rate cannot be guaranteed once the room block is sold out or after this date. Please follow this link for the discount, or call and mention the Gap Year Conference:
    The Curtis Hotel, a Double Tree hotel by Hilton
    Address: 1405 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80202
    Phone:(720)889-4713

  • POSTAGE & MAILING. Address incoming packages to:
    Your Name
    Gap Year Conference, May 6, 2017
    Attn: American Gap Association
    C/O Ashleigh Buhr
    The Curtis a Doubletree Hotel by Hilton
    1405 Curtis Street
    Denver, CO. 80202
    Boxes __ of ___ (multiple boxes MUST be numbered)

 

2017 SCHEDULE - updated 2/15/17

Saturday, May 6 - Preconference Day:

To attend either of the preconference events, please register at the general conference registration page. The preconference day is limited to 30 attendees in each session so please register early. Attendance at future Accreditation Workshops is required for all Accredited members at least once every third year.

  • 9:00am - 12:00pm: "The Old & Accredited." Time for AGA Accredited and those organizations in operation for longer than 10 years - $60 includes lunch
  • 9:00am - 12:00pm: open for proposals.
  • 12:00pm - 1:00pm: Lunch
  • 1:00pm - 4:00pm: "Accreditation Workshop." For those organizations interested in Accreditation and new to the Standards & Accreditation process - $60 includes lunch
  • 1:00pm - 4:00pm: "Mentorship & Rites of Passage." Facilitated by Randy Russell, this is a deep dive into good mentorship practices and cultivating the power of a Rite of Passage for this age - $60 includes lunch

Sunday, May 7 - Conference Day One:

  • 9:00am - 10:00am: Introduction to the Conference, State of the Field, and New Initiatives
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  • 10:00am - 10:30am: break/tea/coffee/snacks/games/networking
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  • 10:30am - 11:45am: Concurrent 75 minute panel sessions to present some of the best we know
    1. "Increasing Diversity: Scholarships are NOT the Answer" - Hansell Bourdon, Carpe Mundi
    2. "Launching successfully: Mental Health Challenges and Supports for a Positive Gap Year" - Rachel Singer, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • 11:45am - 12:00pm: break/tea/coffee/snacks/games/networking
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  • 12:00pm - 12:45pm: Concurrently Facilitated 45 minute Roundtable Discussions
    1. "Abroad with Disabilities" - Juanita Lillie, Abroad With Disabilities
    2. "Local Education, Global Focus: Creating Inclusive Community-Based Programs" - Vicki Weeks, Global Weeks
    3. "Mind the Gap: Considerations in Building a Gap Year Program" - Elizabeth Coder, Elon University
    4. "AGA Committee on Inclusion & Access: Open table discussion and priority setting for the next year" - Ethan Knight, AGA
    5. "Gap Year Website Effectiveness" - Kate Warren, Center for Interim Programs
    6. "The Cognitive Benefits of Intercultural Gap Experiences" - Danny Recio, The Bridge Costa Rica
  • 12:45pm - 2:15pm: Lunch
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  • 2:15pm - 3:00pm: Concurrently Facilitated 45 minute Roundtable Discussions
    1. "A GAP Year on Every Resume" - Sean Keener, Boots N All & AirTreks
    2. "The Transformative Potential of Gap Years" - Erin Johnson
    3. "Reflecting on Experience: Promoting Learning & Transformation" - Neal Taylor, Expedition Education
    4. "AGA Committee on Standards & Accreditation: Open table discussion and priority setting" - Ethan Knight, AGA
    5. "So... is this Program Just for Rich Kids? Solving the Gap Year PR Problem" - Ben Welbourn, Winterline Global Skills
    6. "Turning Higher Education Frontwards" - Michelle Jones, Wayfinding Academy 2-year College
  • 3:00pm - 3:15pm: break/tea/coffee/snacks/games/networking
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  • 3:15pm - 4:00pm: Concurrently Facilitated 45 minute Roundtable Discussions
    1. "Exploring Barriers to Entry for Lower Income & Rural - Summary Research & Discussion" - Erin Barnhart, Effective Altruism
    2. "Part 1: Mental Health Crisis Response: A Real-Time Table Top Exercise" - Gary Robinson, P3 Mental Health Advisors
    3. "Part 1: Creating Cultures for Student Empowerment and Accountability" - Aaron Slosberg, Where There Be Dragons
    4. "Part 1: Cultural Competence Framework: Context and Content for Pre, During, and Post-Service Training" - Nolan Sutker, World Teach
    5. "AGA Committee on Growing the Field: Open table discussion and priority setting" - Joe O'Shea, Florida State University & AGA Board President
    6. "Part 1: Service Years as Gap Years" - Jenna Dell, Service Year Alliance
  • 4:00pm - 4:15pm: break/tea/coffee/snacks/games/networking
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  • 4:15pm - 5:00pm: Concurrently Facilitated 45 minute Roundtable Discussions
    1. "Part 2: Mental Health Crisis Response: A Real-Time Table Top Exercise" - Gary Robinson, P3 Mental Health Advisors
    2. "Part 2: Creating Cultures for Student Empowerment and Accountability" - Aaron Slosberg, Where There Be Dragons
    3. "Part 2: Cultural Competence Framework: Context and Content for Pre, During, and Post-Service Training" - Nolan Sutker, World Teach
    4. "AGA Committee on Research: Open table discussion and priority setting" - Karl Haigler, Haigler Enterprises, Author, AGA Board
    5. "Part 2: Service Years as Gap Years" - Jenna Dell, Service Year Alliance
  • 5:30pm - 7:00pm: End of Day Reception hosted by local Gap Year Organizations: EnRoute Consulting, Where There Be Dragons, Kivu Gap Year, Youth International

Monday, May 8 - Conference Day Two:

  • 9:00am - 10:00am: Keynote
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  • 10:00am - 10:30am: break/tea/coffee/snacks/games/networking
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  • 10:30am - 11:45am: Concurrent 75 minute panel sessions to present some of the best we know
    1. "Brand Collaboration: Co-Marketing Beyond the Gap Year Field" - Ben Welbourn, Winterline Global Skills
    2. "Reducing Barriers to Gap Years: A Case Study" - Sarah Smith, UNC Chapel Hill
    3. "The Visual Transcript: The Next Evolution of Experiential Academic Transcriptions" - Elizabeth Coder, Elon University
  • 11:45am - 12:00pm: break/tea/coffee/snacks/games/networking
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  • 12:00pm - 12:45pm: Concurrently Facilitated 45 minute Roundtable Discussions
    1. "Better Together: Towards a Smoother Gap-to-College Transition" - Erin Jensen, Portland State University
    2. "Discrimination, Intolerance, and Objectivity - Navigating Increasingly Diverse Group Dynamics in a Hyper-Political Era" - Jane Sarouhan, Center for Interim Programs
    3. "Learning Group Follow Up - Exploring Partnerships with the Travel Access Project & Open Source Curricula Projects" - Sean Keener, Boots N All & Jennifer Miller, Travel Access Project
    4. "AGA Committee on Ethics and Judicial Processes - Open table discussion and priority setting" - Candice Washington, Hosteling International USA
    5. "You Belong to the World: An Ecological Lens for Gap Reflection" - Alison Sever, Gap at Glen Brook
    6. Open for Crowd-Sourced Topic to be decided Sunday
  • 12:45pm - 2:15pm: Lunch
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  • 2:15pm - 3:00pm: Concurrently Facilitated 45 minute Roundtable Discussions
    1. "Shattering the Silence of Sexul Violence: Tips for Effectively Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence" - Stacey Williams, Pacific Discovery & Laura Thompson, P3 Mental Health
    2. "Insurance... yeah, You Know You Need to Know More" - Maggie Robinson, iNext Insurance
    3. "Curriculum, International Service/Development, Student Development, and More" - Holly Bull, Center for Interim Programs
    4. "AGA Committee on Inclusion & Access - Open table discussion and priority setting" - Ethan Knight, AGA
    5. Open for Crowd-Sourced Topic to be decided Sunday
  • 3:00pm - 3:15pm: break/tea/coffee/snacks/games/networking
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  • 3:15pm - 4:00pm: Concurrently Facilitated 45 minute Roundtable Discussions
    1. "Part 1: Substance Abuse and Rethinking Student Dismissals" - Scott Burnett, Pacific Discovery & Reed Harwood, Where There Be Dragons
    2. "Part 1: Using Digital Learning Technology to Make International Volunteering and Internship Gap Years More Ethical, Educational, and Affordable" - Willy Oppenheim, Omprakash
    3. "Part 1: Alumni Voices: A Deeper Look at the AGA 2015 Alumni Survey Data" - Corinne Guidi, PhD Extraordinaire!
    4. "Part 1: AGA Think Tank - Meet the Leadership of AGA and Collaborate on Big-Picture Efforts" - Ethan Knight, AGA
    5. Open for Crowd-Sourced Topic to be decided Sunday
  • 4:00pm - 4:15pm: break/tea/coffee/snacks/games/networking
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  • 4:15pm - 5:00pm: Concurrently Facilitated 45 minute Roundtable Discussions
    1. "Part 2: Substance Abuse and Rethinking Student Dismissals" - Scott Burnett, Pacific Discovery & Reed Harwood, Where There Be Dragons
    2. "Part 2: Using Digital Learning Technology to Make International Volunteering and Internship Gap Years More Ethical, Educational, and Affordable" - Willy Oppenheim, Omprakash
    3. "Part 2: Alumni Voices: A Deeper Look at the AGA 2015 Alumni Survey Data" - Corinne Guidi, PhD Extraordinaire!
    4. "Part 2: AGA Think Tank - Meet the Leadership of AGA and Collaborate on Big-Picture Efforts" - Ethan Knight, AGA
    5. Open for Crowd-Sourced Topic to be decided Sunday
  • 5:30pm - 7:00pm: End of Day Reception hosted by local Gap Year Organizations

Tuesday, May 9th - GAP N GO & Other Community Activities:

9:00am - 4:00pm: "Gap N Go" opportunity costs an additional $300 for Providers, and $100 for IECs. This is a proven format where organizations have a dedicated 25 minutes with pre-registered IECs to share about their program, develop a personal relationship with program representatives (usually holding some executive role), and for IECs to ask questions. Lunch and drinks will be provided.

The Gap Year Fair is unfortunately canceled and we will instead offer concerted volunteering and outdoor activity options. While we had hoped to put together a general Denver Gap Year Fair to reprise the successful USA Gap Year Fairs in Colorado, the timing is prohibitive - with AP exams taking place that week. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to continuing to spread the good work of Gap Year organizations through other venues.

Wednesday, May 10 - IECA Conference:

  • The IECA Conference officially starts Wednesday with their almost 2,000 anticipated attendees. We encourage you to visit and register separately for their conference.

 

 


Remembering the 2016 Conference

The 2016 Gap Year conference was hosted by the non-profit American Gap Association, in partnership with EnRoute Gap Year Consulting and the Independent Educational Consultants Association. The IECA Spring Conference followed ours and was designed for the Independent Educational Consultant community.

2016 CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

Sunday, May 1:

  • 9:00am - 10:00am: All attendees are welcome. Ethan will give an update on AGA, its committees, and the State of the Field. Karl Haigler, AGA Board Member & Research Committee Chair, will share results of the National Alumni Survey. And we will share information about a new online curricula available to all AGA members called the Impact Abroad Toolkit.
  • 10:15am - 11:30am: Concurrent panel sessions to present some of the best we know in the realm of program security, mental health, and more. The panel sessions are available for any attendee to attend any session.
      1. "Mental Health" - Led by Stephen Barnes and Gary Robinson, Thinking Beyond Borders Gap Year Program
      2. "Ethical Volunteering" - Led by Willy Oppenheim, Omprakash EdGE Gap Year Program
  • 11:30am - 1:00pm: Lunch & networking
  • 1:00pm - 1:15pm: Introduction to Discussion Roundtable options
  • 1:15pm - 2:45pm: Concurrent discussion-centered Roundtables. We will have different tracks for Educational Consultants and Program Providers.
      1. PROVIDERS - "Research Discussion" - current research efforts by programs highlighting methodology and utility
      2. PROVIDERS - "Marketing 1" - best practices in marketing to grow your enrollment
      3. PROVIDERS - "Ethical Media & Outreach" - where responsibility to local communities meets educating students and marketing to enrollment
      4. PROVIDERS - "China Doesn't Gap, But Change Is In The Air" - how to grow your enrollment of students from China
      5. PROVIDERS - "Rites of Passage - what we're really doing" - tying the art of student mentoring to the systems on program
      6. CONSULTANTS - "Interviewing Programs" - an introduction for how to make the most of your time interviewing providers
      7. CONSULTANTS - "Domestic Programs" - the ups, downs, and options for domestic programs
      8. CONSULTANTS - "Insurance" - education on the critical parts of insurance - making sure your students are covered
      9. CONSULTANTS - "Navigating Gap Years with Parents" - it's the hardest part and this is how it's done best
  • 2:45pm - 3:00pm: Introduction to Roundtable options + Coffee
  • 3:00pm - 4:30pm: Roundtables as different tracks for IECs and Program Providers.
      1. PROVIDERS - "Marketing 2" - lead conversion
      2. PROVIDERS - "College Credit & Financial Aid" - the pros, cons, ups and downs and how providers can make this work
      3. PROVIDERS - "Training and Maintaining In-Country Staff" - best practices for ensuring quality carries through to the students
      4. PROVIDERS - "Nonprofit Help Group" - fundraising for your nonprofit including grantwriting efforts
      5. PROVIDERS - "Growing the Field Committee" - download of current committee efforts and discusion for goal setting in next year
      6. CONSULTANTS - "Knowing Which Students are Good Gap Year Candidates" - when to insist on "the conversation" and when to float it
      7. CONSULTANTS - "Gap Year Affordability" - finding the sweet spot in finances and knowing student financial aid options
      8. CONSULTANTS - "Managing Expectations for Gap Year" - popular locations, common outcomes, and regular pitfalls
      9. CONSULTANTS - "Useful Resources for Consultants" - know your tools
  • End of Day Reception - EVERYONE IS INVITED. Co-hosted by Ridge Mountain Academy & GoOverseas.com

Monday, May 2:

  • 9:00am - 10:00am: Keynote Speaker - Rick Weissbourd, Harvard Graduate School of Education, author of Turning the Tide report on making college admissions more human-friendly.
  • 10:15am - 11:30am: Concurrent panel sessions to present some of the best we know. All attendees are welcome to any session this day.
      1. "Effective school outreach" - Led by Marie Schwartz, CEO, TeenLife.com
      2. "Student Panel: What Convinced Me to Take a Gap Year" - Facilitated by Cara Murray & Nathan Scott, Winterline Gap Year Program
  • 11:30am - 1:00pm: Lunch & networking
  • 1:00pm - 1:15pm: Introduction to Discussion Roundtable options
  • 1:15pm - 2:45pm: Concurrent discussion-centered Roundtables. This second day will be SHARED tracks for Educational Consultants and Program Providers.
      1. EVERYONE - "Alcohol and Other Substances on Program" - proactive and reactive methods to address a very complicated issue
      2. EVERYONE - "Risk Management in the Field" - with Bill Frederick of Lodestone, this is a discussion led by the best in the field
      3. EVERYONE - "Research Committee" - current efforts of research in the field and how to contribute
      4. EVERYONE - "Learning Differences on Gap Year" - accommodating students with learning differences
      5. EVERYONE - "What Makes it 'Transformational?'" - what are the antecedents to maximize student growth?
      6. EVERYONE - "Predeparture Preparation" - predeparture is a crucial time to push student growth - what are you and your peers doing?
      7. EVERYONE - "Other" - left intentionally undefined
  • 2:45pm - 3:00pm: Introduction to Roundtable options + Coffee
  • 3:00pm - 4:30pm: Roundtables as SHARED track for IECs and Program Providers.
      1. EVERYONE - "Ethical Volunteering" - a continuation of the ethics in volunteering for a broad range of program types
      2. EVERYONE - "Standards & Accreditation Committee" - download of current committee efforts and discussion for goal setting in next year (what would it take to be an outcomes-defined Standards process?)
      3. EVERYONE - "The Gap Year Admissions Process" - how are different organizations covering their bases with this critical element of the student experience?
      4. EVERYONE - "Using the State Department as a Resource" - Overseas Security Advisory Council, the State Department, their limits, and what can Commonwealth countries avail themselves of?
      5. EVERYONE - "Emerging Adulthood" - understanding the young adult brain and speaking effectively to it
      6. EVERYONE - "Technology on Program" - idealogical and practical considerations of technology use while on program
      7. EVERYONE - "Other" - left intentionally undefined
  • End of Day Reception - EVERYONE IS INVITED. Hosted by TeenLife Media

Tuesday, May 3: GAP N GO & School Visits

9:00am - 4:00pm: "Gap N Go" opportunity that costs an additional $200 for Providers, and $150 for IECs. This is a proven format where organizations have a dedicated 25 minutes with pre-registered IECs to share about their program, develop a personal relationship with program representatives (usually holding some executive role), and for IECs to ask questions. Lunch and drinks will be provided.

  • The current list of Gap N Go Providers are:
    James Bridge - InterExchange, Jake Lewis - Gap at Glen Brook, Richard Nimmo - Blue Ventures Expeditions, Danny Ponce-Taylor - Global Vision International, Eva Vanek - Where There Be Dragons, Delores Fabregas - CIEE, Rebecca Thomas - Pacific Discovery, Sophia Weeks - ARCC Gap Year, Stephen Barnes - Thinking Beyond Borders, Randy Russell - InnerPath Works, Tim Porter-DeVriese - Rustic Pathways, Liz Hesterberg - Cross Cultural Solutions, Jenny Doder - Academic Programs International (API). Note that the waitlist is currently two organizations deep.
  • The current list of Gap N Go IECs are:
    Diane Geller, Jason & Jane Sarouhan, Julie Gross, Lisa Thomas, Betsy Donnelly, Ramona Wessel, Alex Steinert-Evoy, Sandy Storer, Katie Sterns, Lucy Shih, and Katie Garrett.

9:00am - 4:00pm: For providers and attendees NOT attending the Gap N Go event, we will have some loosely structured marketing opportunities with two local schools and unstructured networking opportunities with IECs who arrive early. Please plan on bringing promotional materials for these events. For those wishing to do a school visit, please email Madelaine Eulich to RSVP. The following two schools will be stacked and AGA will reimburse transportation costs for this event.

  • Meridian Academy
    10:15am - 11:00am
    54 Brookside Avenue
    Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
    (617) 277-1118

    Meridian Academy is an independent, diverse, project-based school serving sixth through twelfth graders in the Boston area. The visit to Meridian Academy will be held from 10:15am - 11:00am on Tuesday, May 3. Students in tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades will be in attendance (roughly 28 students).

  • Buckingham, Browne, & Nichols
    12:40pm - 1:20pm
    80 Gerrys Landing Rd
    Cambridge, MA 02138
    (617) 547-6100

    Buckingham, Browne, & Nichols (or BB&N) is a private day school based in Cambridge and serving pre-K through twelfth graders. The visit to BB&N will be held from 12:40pm - 1:20pm on Tuesday, May 3.

Wednesday, May 4 - May 7: IECA Conference

  • The IECA Conference officially starts Wednesday with some of the 1,500 attendees. Please use your $100 AGA discount code to register and attend the IECA Conference and network with this amazing body of educational consultants and experts.

 

 


2015 Gap Year Conference

Our First Gap Year Conference just concluded hosting some 63 attendees from four continents! What a start and just the beginning of this snowball!

Posted by American Gap Association on May 4-8, 2015