Fuel your passions. Grow your network. Build your resume. Ignite your courage.
Drive your gap year forward with the support of our
Gap Year Accelerator program.
Our 2022/23 cohort has already kicked off but you can still join the program for the remainder of your gap year.
How do you want to remember your gap year: anxiously trying to put a plan together without fully knowing where you’re headed OR knowing exactly what you’re working towards, how you’re going to get there, and where to start - backed by a community of other gap year students and experts rooting you along on your journey?
The truth is, you’ve got one year (or one semester!) to make the most of your gap. And sometimes, that can put some serious pressure on you as a recent grad or unfulfilled post-secondary student.
There’s so much to consider:
What goals do I want to accomplish?
What plans will I set in motion?
How will I build my resume along the way?
How do I create accountability and consistency in my schedule?
Where can I meet other Gappers experiencing something similar?
Remember how fast last year slipped by? Guaranteed your gap year will go even faster.
That’s why optimizing the first three months of your gap year can make all the difference in where you end up 6, 9 and 12 months down the road (and the following years to come!).
The Gap Year Accelerator is a 12-month program, kicking off with 3-months of intensive, well, acceleration, helping Gappers (that’s what we call gap year students!) make the most of their gap year.
With clear goals and plans, community activities and experiential learning opportunities that help you lead a truly uniquely gap year, not only do you learn to take the steering wheel of your life, you’re also showing the world your potential as you work to earn the Student of Leadership and Humanity Award.
So, what does the Accelerator look like?
The Gap Year Accelerator is a 12-month program providing support throughout your entire gap year, but it’s all about kicking into gear during those first three crucial months.
No, it’s not a 40 hour per week program, but it is meant to be done alongside all of the amazing things you plan to do, like travelling, working, or volunteering.
We provide you the structure to stay motivated and on track to achieving your goals with enough flexibility to fit in all your gap year goodness.
Months 1 - 3
Meet your Accelerator cohort downtown Toronto for our 3-day Bootcamp and exploring as you prep your gap year plan and earn your first program badge of our program: Goal Setting.
Following our weekend together, we’ll meet online weekly to keep up momentum as we introduce you to all seven pillars that will make sure you are having fun, getting a better understanding of who you are and where you want to go in life while gaining real-world adulting skills. Isn’t that what your gap year is all about?!
Time commitment: 1 weekend + 2 hours/week location independent!
Can’t get to Toronto - no problem! We’ll do a shorter virtual version as well from Sept 26 - 28 (But it’s worth the flight/train/drive - trust us! Travel scholarships may be available - email us to find out more!)
Months 4 - 8
After 3 months of more intensive workshops and support, it’s time to take the lead on all your gap year goals and lay the foundation for all earning all 7 program badges. To support your ambition, you’ll meet monthly with a Gap Year Coach to ensure you’re on track for success (and to help you put up the guardrails if you find yourself steering off track).
Time commitment: 30 minutes of coaching/month + 2 optional virtual workshops
Readiness & Reintegration
Months 9 - 12
In our final months together, you’ll cross that finish line and earn the Student of Leadership & Humanity Award! Along the way, we’ll be celebrating your achievements with an optional CanGap Expedition (yes, travel + adventure of a lifetime with your new Gapper buds!) and our annual Gap Year Grad. We’ll also get you setup to confidently take on your new post-secondary step with concrete planning, including updating your kick-butt resume and LinkedIn profile!
Time commitment: 30 minutes of coaching/month + 2 optional virtual workshops + 3 hour virtual Grad Event + optional 9-day Expedition
What are these “life skills” you’ll be learning
(and getting certified in!) during
Gap Year Accelerator?
The program features 7 core program pillars that, when completed, provide you with a micro-credential through the form of a digital badge. These badges can be placed on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Employers, admission teams and scholarship grantors can actually learn more about what exactly you accomplished during your gap year, showing the world your potential and giving you a competitive edge as you begin to design your career path.
Here’s a sneak peek of our 7 core program pillars:
Develop a project that aligns with your goals and values (you’re the leader here - make it as big or small, personal, local or even global as you want!).
Design your future, set milestones, outline action steps, and learn how to navigate ongoing changes throughout your professional journey.
Start your journey to self discovery by unlocking and embracing the true YOU outside of the classroom and in the real world.
Health & Wellness
Take the lead on your self-care so you can learn what you need to take care of yourself so you can accomplish all your goals.
Get started on understanding how money actually works and how to navigate your finances as you grow into your independence.
Learn how to find and connect with the right people that support your professional journey during your gap year and as you enter your career.
Identify the key components of a purposeful gap year and build a solid plan that allows you to bring it to life and achieve your goals.
What does this EPIC 12 month journey include?
Here’s the thing: a gap year takes work. To be honest, it can be more work than college or uni. You see, when you’re in school, someone else provides structure, discipline, and goal oriented tasks making it much easier to know what’s going on and where you’re headed.
A gap year is quite the opposite. You no longer have teachers telling you what to do, you build your own schedule, you set your own goals and work at your own pace - and sometimes, that can be extremely challenging when you’ve never had to do it before!
The Gap Year Accelerator gives you the structure, access to unique opportunities, actionable advice, emotional support, community, and tools needed to set yourself up for independence, success, post-secondary and career readiness, and all those other things that life throws at you as you begin “adulting”.
A few highlights Gappers LOVE about the program:
Get connected with a crew of creative, ambitious, and diverse Gappers from across the country as you work towards earning your program badges offline and online.
Kick off your year with 3 days of workshops in Toronto with your cohort of Gappers. Plus, access additional opportunities to travel with us throughout the school year.
Get to know YOU outside of the classroom with support in shaping who you are, what you value, and prioritizing wellness in ways that make sense to your needs.
Give your career a head start by diving into key skills like financial literacy and project management as you apply them to your own REAL projects in the REAL world.
MONTHLY EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS
During your first 3-months, dive into weekly workshops and activities that help earn your 7 program badges and move closer to earning the Student of Leadership and Humanity Award.
Following your 3-months, attend monthly social events (virtually and in-person) as well as hop onto CanGap travel programs at a discount that keep you connected to your nationwide cohort of Gappers.
MONTHLY ONE-ON-ONE COACHING
Work with our in-house Gap Year Coach Michelle Dittmer to get clear on what you’re working towards (and more importantly, why!), how to take action towards your goals, how to get unstuck when you, well, get stuck along the way, and prepare yourself for what lies ahead of your gap year.
Accelerate your leadership and career potential by earning the Student of Leadership and Humanity Award.
Ever wonder how you just suddenly become an “adult”? Well, it kind of all starts with diving into strengthening some of the core skills needed to feel confident as you enter college/university, work, and lead your life rooted in your core values.
Throughout the Accelerator, you’ll be deepening 7 foundational skills that allow you to lead a fun, purposeful, and well-rounded gap year, while setting yourself up for success wherever your next path takes you.
And with so much work and purpose going into all the moving pieces of your gap year journey, that deserves to be recognized.
When you complete all 7 program badges, you unlock access to additional badges (like sustainability and social justice!) and the achievement of the International Student of Leadership and Humanity Award.
What can this incredible achievement do for you?
Support your work in becoming a confident and skilled leader
Broaden your skillset and credibility as you begin designing and planning your career
Bring intention and purpose to your gap year
Deepen your understanding of how to connect your work to larger local and global issues within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework
Upon achieving the Student of Leadership & Humanity Award, you'll also receive a $100 Beyond the Gap Year Scholarship powered by Future Launch!
To learn more about this incredible achievement, click here.
What to expect during the Toronto Bootcamp September 23 to 25
Our virtual bootcamp will take place Sept 26 -28 from 12PM - 2PM EST
Meet your peers (and soon to be lifelong friends!), get clear on your goals, and give back to the community with a group volunteering experience!
Explore the possibilities, craft your gap year plan, research possible activities, and join your peers in a city-wide adventure challenge!
Prepare to launch into your year ahead, learn what resources are at your disposal, identify potential blocks to success and what skills/strengths/tools are needed to overcome them.
All three days will run from 9AM to 5PM. Yummy lunches and snacks included!
What kind of Gappers love this program?
If you’re all about meeting new people, exploring your potential, and grabbing opportunity by the horns, this is the program for you.
More specifically, if you’re:
Worried about how you’re going to make the most of your gap year
Anxious about all of the unanswered questions about your gap year
Nervous about making decisions on your own and would benefit from coaching
Looking for cool new opportunities that you never knew existed
Curious about trying new things
Wanting to explore existing and new passions
Then this is exactly the space you want to be in for your gap year.
What Gappers are saying about spending
their gap year with CanGap
Ready to launch into a gap year of absolutely awesome-ness?
Does Gap Year Accelerator sound like the PERFECT program to support your gap year, but you require financial assistance to access it? RBC Future Launch has got you covered!
Did you know you can pay for CanGap programs by converting your loyalty points (i.e. Aeroplan and American Express) into HigherEdPoints? Click here to learn how!
We got answers!
Q: What do I have to do to earn the award?
A: To receive your Student of Leadership and Humanity Award, you must complete all 7 program pillars over the course of 12 months.
Q: How long does the certification take to complete?
A: It takes approx. 40 hours to complete the requirements of the Student of Leadership and Humanity Award – but, like most things, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. Our goal is for you to want to spend lots of time on the real life activities that you design based on the tools and materials of this program so that you can maximize your growth, learning and gap year experience.
Q: How much freedom is there to do what I want within the framework of the program?
A: Tons! Earning the Student of Leadership and Humanity Award isn’t about telling you what to do – it’s about opening your eyes to what’s possible and providing the framework and support for YOU to decide which direction to go.
Q: Is the Award for Canadians only?
A: No! Though we are a Canadian non-profit, we welcome participants from around the globe. Depending on your location, your certification will be issued either through our organization (The Canadian Gap Year Association) or our partner organization the US-based Gap Year Association.
Q: Is this program for me if I don’t want to travel or need/plan to work on my gap year?
A: Absolutely. Whether you plan to travel, volunteer, work – or some combo of these, the Gameplan is ideal for you.
Q: Do I need to know what I’m going to do on my gap year before enrolling?
A: No! In fact, the first step inside the portal is to help you understand your options and create your gap year plan (so it’s almost BETTER if you’re not sure what you want to do yet!).
Q: What do I have to do to receive my Student of Leadership and Humanities Certificate?
A: The Student of Leadership and Humanity Certificate is presented to all gappers who:
Submit an intentional and thoughtful gap year plan
Complete five required reflections related to the program pillars.
Design and implement one independent project.
Q: Are there age restrictions?
A: No. We welcome participants at any stage of life but most of our students are between the ages of 17 and 25.
Q: Can I get one-on-one help if I need it?
A: Yes! Accelerator includes 12 months of 30-minute one-on-one sessions with a gap year coach. If you require additional support, we recommend you enroll in one of our gap year coaching programs.
Q: What if I don’t complete the requirements of the certification?
A: You won’t receive your Student of Leadership and Humanity Certificate, but will have benefited from any of the activities you choose to participate in.
Q: What measures are in place to keep participants on track?
A: There are lots of ways we keep participants motivated and moving forward including scheduled live (online) events, check-ins and encouragement through our online community and automatic reminders when you haven’t accessed the course in a while or hit a particular milestone.
Q: My parent is going to sign me up. How do I provide you my information once they do?
A: It’s often parents who do the actual enrolling – which is just fine. They should input their own information and yours during the check-out process. Once that’s complete, you'll receive details to your email about how to access the Accelerator and next steps.
Q: How can I use my award and digital badges?
A: You will receive a digital certificate as well as badges that can be used on LinkedIn and your resume to help you get into post-secondary programs and find meaningful employment.