BOISE — The pandemic isn't making any decision about how to attend school any easier. Students might want more time to think about whether or not to continue their education at the university level.
A new program starting up this fall at Boise State helps students do both.
"You don't have to be all in or all out; you can be in this in between space," said Kelly Myers.
After virtual emergency learning in the spring, Boise state says more students consider taking a gap year this fall. The new gap year program helps remove some of the uncertainty, stress, or financial burden that comes with a traditional semester.
Only a handful of schools in the country have something similar.
"We're giving them a pause, we're giving them a way to have a meaningful pause that's still productive, they don't have to feel like they're stalling, but they can pause and take time and still be making progress," said Myers.
Students can make progress towards their degree without classes.
"If they complete the gap year program, you get three credits, but we are open to reviewing anything they do in their experience," said Myers.
They're also technically not enrolled as a Boise State student, meaning they won't pay tuition costs.
"We decided not to have students enroll and not to have a for-credit model so that we could offer up a lower program rate," said Myers,
"so they aren't enrolled as Boise State students, and they aren't paying tuition, so it is a different cost, once they are enrolled and officially taking classes they are in our tuition breakdown model."
The program pairs students up with an adviser and faculty mentor to navigate what they're doing for the year, whether it be a full-time job, internship, or something else.
"You don't have to leave the country and have a hugely transformative experience to have a meaningful gap year. Our students working full-time are having hugely important experiences," said Myers.
Students can do one semester or a full year in the program. After they complete it, the advising team helps students enroll at BSU.
The first step is filling out a form, which lets the gap year leadership team know you're interested. After that, you'd put down a deposit, which is less than a traditional semester of tuition. Then they connect you with an adviser.
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