Today on the pod we are excited to have Ethan Knight, founding director of the Gap Year Association. Julia and Margo take some time to talk to Ethan about the history of the Gap Year Association (GYA), his personal path that brought him here, the meaning of life, climate based gap years, and the current state of the field after a challenging pandemic year.
What is the Gap Year Association?
“Founded in 2012, the Gap Year Association is the only national nonprofit working to coordinate the growing Gap Year Movement. As a public benefit not-for-profit Association with members, we believe that all intentional gap years have significant and positive practical outcomes, whether independent or as part of a formal program. The GYA focuses on four core areas: Research, Equity & Access, Resources, and finally Standards and Accreditation. Each year we advance gap year research with member-initiatives, an annual State of the Field Survey, and regularly direct larger research efforts such as the 2015 and 2020 National Alumni Survey. We also believe strongly that young adults of all walks of life benefit from an intentional gap year and thus work to promote scholarships, as well as inclusivity efforts within our membership and the broader community. In fact, it is our aspiration that all gap year students should have access to a semester worth of transferable college credit that is supported with access to FAFSA dollars – college may not be right for everyone, but a quality gap year will profoundly impact many more than just the student who takes one. Finally, the GYA is the Standards Development Organization for Gap Year Education in the US, as recognized by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.”