PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA, USA,  12 June 2020  – Student Ventures and the Student Ventures Academy, powered by GeeLearn has been accepted for membership with the Gap Year Association (GYA) with its Student Ventures Year – and other gap year programs for undergraduates, postgraduate and professional students. The GYA has established standards of operations and student relations, including those related to inclusiveness, and has set a high bar for accreditation. The GYA has global recognition for being a body for the advocacy, quality standards, research, education and accreditation of gap year programs.  Michael Clouser of Student Ventures will join the Higher Education Committee of GYA. This group seeks to establish and promote gap year program strategic relationships with universities and colleges.

What is the Mission of the Student Ventures Academy?

“Student Ventures Academy, powered by GeeLearn, seeks to provide experiential learning opportunities to students at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Our organization will combine best practices in eLearning and startup acceleration to develop business and entrepreneurship know-how in our participants. In addition, we strive to develop skills in technology and networking, especially in the digital realm, through programming, software, digital design and media, and social media learning and application to real-world projects. Our programs are designed to provide participants with lifelong knowledge and understanding of how to discover opportunities, test ideas, start and grow new businesses, work in teams, build relationships and partnerships, acquire resources, and strategize for scaling. Besides building such knowledge tools, we quest for the creation and incorporation of new organizations, including businesses and social enterprises, as an output of our programs. Through our online offerings we endeavor to reach, teach, and motivate eligible participants wherever they are locate in the world. We will serve a diverse global audience while molding our participants to behave in inclusive modes, value equality, and make new global citizens in the process” -Studvent Academy website.

What is the Mission of the Gap Year Association?

 “To maximize the potential of young adults, through accessible and meaningful gap year opportunities.”

Gap Year Association website

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.” – Gap Year Association Website

What is the Vision of the Gap Year Association?

“A semester of gap year time, with access to college credit & financial aid, for every high school graduate.

“We want to see more Americans taking intentional time away from “classroom” before accruing college debt, starting their careers, and choosing a life-path, in order to facilitate perspective, purpose, and maturation. We believe that the life-experience gained from travel at this opportune time in life, sets students up for success in the real world. Taking an intentional gap year has been shown to increase college graduation rates, improve GPA’s, increase participation in campus activities, and overall increase career satisfaction…’ – Gap Year Association Website

Why does the GYA Matters

“No one else is working with colleges on behalf of the entire gap year movement, to open the doors of college credit and FAFSA … If we want to see more people taking gap years, then we need a larger advocacy body that can be objective in its accreditations and resources. At the GYA, our strong belief is that our planet, our country, and all the people therein will benefit from a population that take appropriate responsibility for themselves and their community, and that this is best accomplished with real-world, experiential learning. Certainly, all the research is confirming that the majority of young Americans are experiencing higher orders of depression and anxiety, inevitably spending their high school years running towards adulthood only to find the world of Adulting looks uninspired and overwhelming. One of the primary ways our work is expressed is by highlighting the outcomes gap year alumni and their parents experience; notably that this particular window for a young person – typically starting at the age of legal adulthood – is arguably the richest time for resilience-cultivation, self-awareness, global understanding, and career-exploration. This window in a young person’s life frequently represents their first opportunity to experience a future of purpose and productivity … challenging comfort zones to understand that the world is much much bigger than their own experience; and more practically deciding whether a college degree is necessary for their chosen career. In fact, our data is clear that 86% of gap year graduates, once they hit their career, are satisfied or very satisfied – a stark contrast to the national average. But, perhaps most compelling is that students who take a gap year, perform better academically; are 80% more likely to vote and be civically engaged; and inevitably more prepared for the global workforce.” – Gap Year Association Website.