Exploring Post-Secondary Gaps for Student Success with Mike Stroh and Steven Kavaratzis
Supporting students on gap years is everybody’s responsibility, including higher education institutions - especially when it comes to mental health and well-being.
In today’s episode, we invited Mike Stroh, founder of Starts With Me, and Steven Kavaratzis from the Ted Rogers School of Management, to discuss what pushing pause looks like for post secondary students. They analyze current trends and external factors, such as academic validation and lack of support, and how these can foster a toxic relationship between students and school. Furthermore, they explore the role of institutions and how they need to step up to meet the mental health and wellbeing needs of their students.
The importance of institutions supporting students through to graduation and providing resources to encourage mindfulness and wellbeing.
What pushing pause looks like for post-secondary students and the gaps that need to be filled to make this process a fulfilling and positive experience.
Exploring the statistics and trends when it comes to mental health and wellness with post-secondary students.
Should academic performance be prioritized over mental health and wellbeing, and are institutions providing adequate resources to encourage students to take care of their mental health
Resources Mentioned In This Episode
Mike’s mental health consultancy Starts With Me
Connect with Steven on LinkedIn
Prioritize mental health on your gap year with The Gap Year Accelerator
Connect With The Canadian Gap Year Association
Join “Gapper Connect” on Discord to connect with students thinking about a gap year, current Gappers, and alum all in one place! https://www.cangap.ca/gapperconnect
Find more resources at the Can Gap website https://www.cangap.ca/
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Michelle Dittmer - 00:00
Hey there, everybody welcome to the Gap Year podcast! My name is Michelle and I am your host and gap year expert.
On the docket today we have two incredible guests who are here from various spheres that deal with young people and how they are interacting with their mental health and their post secondary studies.
So I'm super excited to have Mike and Steven here with me for a really meaningful conversation. But before we get too far into it, let's get a sense of who Steven and Mike are so we know where this conversation is going.
So Mike, can you give us the quick and short version of who you are? What do you do? What are you bringing to this conversation today?
Mike - 00:45
Yeah, sure, thanks. So my short story is I founded a consultancy, a mental health consultancy that specializes in K to 12 education and workplace mental health. We've done a lot of work in schools and in the workplace around just psychoeducation around mental health.
And then as life progressed, I went back to school, became a psychotherapist, so I'm also a practicing psychotherapist, so I meet with a lot of young people. In one of the clinics I work with we specialize in supporting people with ADHD or similar mood related disorders and a lot of the people that I work with are young people struggling in university who are either on the brink of failing out or being kicked out, or disengaged from their work. Or people who have left who didn't finish who maybe are in their early to mid 20s and want to go back, but they don't know how to go back and in some sense you could say they slipped through the cracks and.
I would also count myself as one of those people. It was a bit of a miracle that I finished university and the only reason I did I think is because I did count it as credits at university in Quebec, so I did a three year program in four years. There's no way I would have finished otherwise. I had to do summer school to finish as well, so I certainly am also one of these people who would have benefited greatly from something like this.
And I also have a personal sort of history of addiction and mental illness prior to transferring my life into this space. That's my short story of who I am and how I got here.
Michelle Dittmer - 02:47
Well, thank you so much for bringing your lived experience because I think it's nice, especially for the young people that might be listening or watching to see a success story when you're in.
When you're deep in it and you kind of can't see the next step, it's nice to see somebody who has been there and come out the other end and in the end dedicated their life to supporting people who are experiencing these challenges. So thanks for being here today and on the flip side, same but different. Steven, why didn't you give us a little bit of insight as to who you are and what you're bringing to the conversation today?
Steven - 03:27
Of course, my name is Steven and professionally I work at the Toronto Metropolitan University, formerly known as Ryerson University. I work in academic advising for the Ted Rogers School of Management. I currently advise roughly 1500 students in marketing management, and I also am the chair of the Student Retention Committee and Strategic Enrollment Management initiative in terms of us doing surveys and gathering an insight on why students take time off from their studies and what supports we can create and infrastructure we can build at the university to support their return back to studies and how that needs to look different to support them.
Academically, I'm also a PhD student at the Ted Rogers School of Management starting this September. Most of my studies is in Student Wellness and online learning, as well as combating attrition and enhancing engagement and performance in an academic setting.
Michelle Dittmer - 04:26
Amazing, so we've got a team of three people here who are all champions and cheerleaders for the success of young people, whatever that looks like. In this particular conversation, we're going to be focusing on supporting students through to graduation and the value for some students of pushing pause instead of just being on that accelerated treadmill where you're running and you're falling behind and you're getting close to falling off the back sometimes we just need to push stop on the treadmill and regroup to get our act together again and move forward.
This can be a really scary thing for a lot of institutions where they're really measured on retention and we're looking at graduation rates and we want to see students through to that place where they are achieving what we're guiding them through, and that fear of pushing, pause and seeing them step away and be a really scary place, but we're gonna dive in and talk about some of the things that we're seeing on campus, the things that we're seeing in young people and then what are some things that maybe institutions might be able to do to support students who do take that leave.
So my first kind of question for you guys and we'll go with Steven and then over to Mike to finish up, what are some of the things that you're seeing in terms of trends when it comes to mental health and wellness with students on campus these days I think I think a lot of people are probably seeing similar things, so I'm curious what you want to share on that.
Steven - 06:06
Absolutely! So one of the things that I was really intrigued by is because I've been working on retention work at the university over the past four years, the trends have started to change, especially with the introduction of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
I think there's been more of a shift of awareness and wellness and what health and Wellness looks like when you're thriving when you're flourishing and when you're languishing and all of those things in between and in the past year, we did a survey with about 500 students and I might pull some data from this thread our conversation, just because it's some interesting feedback we've gotten from students for this year.
One of the things we saw the highest number of reasons students consider a barrier to their studies is health or well being. About just under 40% of the students surveyed, we surveyed again, about 500 students said that health or well being or Wellness was the number one reason why they took time away from their studies or needed that time to regroup. So that's an important thing we need to consider from an institutional perspective.
And another really interesting contextual importance is how many courses students have left. I always thought when I started my retention work that it would be students that were one year into their studies or had 40 courses left or 35 courses left, but over 50% of the students that we surveyed had one to 15 courses left, so they were more than halfway through their degree and they needed that pause or they needed that time offsets and other really important contextual understanding we need to keep in consideration is that supporting our new students is important, but supporting our current students in academic persistence is important and it looks different.
Michelle Dittmer - 07:41
Yeah, I think that that's fantastic to have that awareness that it's not necessarily those at the beginning of their journey. As adults we know that we can be hit with challenges and barriers and different energy levels even as we go through the roller coaster and it's the same for our students and just being aware of that can be really important.
Mike, what are you seeing in the work that you're doing?
Mike - 08:09
In terms of what am I seeing is, ooh it's such a complex situation because there's the societal factors and then there's individual life factors.
Primarily, it's a sense of being lost or discouraged. I think those are the two, maybe hopeless and discouraged and frustrated. So when people desire to finish school or just to be competent on a daily basis and they are not able to as a result of just personal struggles or sometimes the context of their life.
After enough frustration. The simple thing is to give up in some sense or to blame themselves or society for their situation.
Ultimately, that's not helpful for people when they're caught in a blame or a finger pointing experience, but because they don't have guidance and they don't perhaps have the tools to navigate that it's very difficult not to do that, because as human beings, our impulsive reaction is always to point the finger outward or to blame ourselves as inherently flawed or dysfunctional.
And I think at a surface level that's the first piece of what people often describe, right it's because of this external factor I can't do this, or I'm a failure.
While pieces of that might be true, it's not the whole story and it is not helpful to be stuck there and these institutions ever, and I think this is true across the board, so whether it's a workplace, environment and institution have never been responsible for these things.
In some sense, you could also argue that it's not their responsibility to care for the mental health of the people in the school or their employees. You could also say it's also perhaps not their responsibility to be harmful to the mental health of, but so there's that big piece in the background that I think is important and often gets overlooked.
I think we have done a very bad job at teaching young people that life is not supposed to be easy and it's OK when you struggle. What's not OK is to blame other people or yourself perhaps, and that you have the capacity to work through it and that you can't do it alone and then so with all those moving parts, how does an institution actually provide that to someone, I don't know.
And that's probably part of why we're having this discussion. I do think maybe the last thing I would say is, this idea of taking a pause. There I think there's one piece where if we're taught or if we learn how to take more pauses on a daily basis, even for five minutes, or on a monthly basis, just taking a day to chill. That can be so helpful in the long term, and I think that's been a lost art in our society in the past 20 years, maybe longer, I’m not sure.
Then of course the other side would be, how would we encourage people and institutions to see an extended pause as actually a benefit as opposed to a negative. That was, that was my long winded explanation of trying to pull all these different aspects into the present.
Michelle Dittmer - 12:22
Yeah, but I think you nailed a couple really important pieces when we're really talking about it is what is the responsibility of the institution and I think that is a very contested piece, especially with the the cost of really good supports mental health supports for students and the sheer volume that we're seeing in mental health challenges and the almost one to one support is the best way and you can't do that in a very scalable manner, affordably and so I know across the board institutions, mental health capacity is overextended right now.
A lot of students either don't know where to find those resources on campus or when they do approach them, they don't have the availability to care for those students, and again, the question is, is it their responsibility?I think we could have a whole other conversation on that alone, but let's, let's just take for granted that these students have these challenges, maybe they didn't access it, or they need to take a pause, so they need to step away from the institution for awhile, and maybe they're going to seek some support elsewhere or they're they need that extended pause on the academic staff and take off some of that pressure in order to address some of the other challenges that they're experiencing.
Destigmatizing that and helping support students in that process is gonna be something that institutions can do, and to some extent that will lessen the overextended pressure on their mental health teams. But we need to help them with those reengagement pieces because we want to see them come to completion, but what does that look like?
So I'm curious, Steven, I don't know if you have anything to add after what we were just talking about. I saw you nodding in the video there, do you wanna add something?
Steven - 14:33
Yeah, one thing I want to just add is I read this paper by Bailey and Phillips in 2016 and it talks about how universities often create a culture of academic achievement as being the number one priority and outcome of a students degree and very much linked to degree persistence. So what often happens is students will become more extrinsically motivated by academic achievement. then prioritizing their own Wellness or well being or the other priorities they have in terms of completing their degree.
So what will often happen is going to that yoga class after all their lectures or attending that Wellness intervention at their school is running for them when they're academically suffering.
They'll put those things to the wayside to ensure that they're prioritizing their own academic achievement and success and inturn, what happens is their Wellness and health and health continue to suffer and they don't get that time and that resource balance that they need.
So the academic achievement will go down and they won't understand why, because they're constantly throwing more time and energy and resources at the academic achievement and not understanding fully why they're not seeing the outcomes that they think they should be seeing.
Michelle Dittmer - 15:44
I think that's a great point and something that we see with the students on a gap year and we see them sometimes really struggle because they're not getting that in external validation, because they are not receiving those grades because they've been conditioned to look for approval to look for some sort of grade, some sort of measure of how well they're doing.
However, through the gap year process they start to develop a deeper sense of that intrinsic motivation and finding rewards in another area and I just had a conversation actually with a gapper, she wasn't really super excited to go back to school because she wanted to start her own business and I said OK, well why don't you do a little bit of both? You don't need to be a 95 student. You don't need to spend all of this time studying and acing every single one of your tests.
There can be a balance there, and that was something that was a new concept to her because she had always had this validation through grades and she's starting to learn what is important to her and what will keep her fulfilled and balanced in a way that she can complete her courses and she can have these extra curricular or co curricular elements that round out her post secondary experience, so I think that's a great point that there is a culture shift that we need to be addressing here.
So let's say students do take a step away, Steven, what do you think institutions can do to support them in that step away that would eventually lead to their return back onto campus? What are you seeing?
Steven - 17:40
One thing I'm seeing that we are trying to continue to offer more of is an alternative type of learning for students to address that concern or that gap, that they that they're experiencing for themselves that could look like a Wellness intervention, we have one at our institution called “Thriving in Action” that we offer that's run by a bunch of our faculty from psychology and in the Faculty of Arts and they do an exceptional job at offering that program to students, regardless of whether they're currently enrolled full-time or they're taking time off, so that's one thing I do see students take advantage of to kind of combat that need for psychological support.
What we also are seeing is our students engaging in alternative learning styles like boot camps, so an Excel certificate offered through our school or they could be taking a coding course or something like that they get an online badge for it that they can add to their resume, so some more experiential learning, I think is taking place while students take that time off.
I think it's absolutely wonderful, and that's something that I try to point students toward more and more is trying to keep them engaged with the institution in a way that's positive to remain within a very positive relationship for them so that when they come back to their studies, hopefully we do want to see everyone return toward completing their degree when it works for them, but we want to ensure that the relationship remains positive while they take their time away and us supporting in them, and that is crucial.
Michelle Dittmer - 19:08
Yeah, I like that idea of having other offerings for them because you do want to maintain that relationship and you do want to show them that they can be successful within things that the institution is offering, because that will bolster that trusting relationship with the institution and help them to understand that there are different ways of learning as well. So I'm really pleased to hear that, and I think that that's a wonderful way to keep them engaged because we want to keep them connected during this time, you don't want to just send them out into the wilderness and say good luck, we'll see you in a year or see you in two years, but keeping them engaged as can be really helpful.
What about you, Mike? If someone was to take a year off, what are some things that they might be able to do, or would you recommend tapping into?
Mike - 19:56
More specific learning on personal psychology and well being because what happens is, and this is, I think, well documented and supported by social psychology work is. Young people arrive in university without the skills to face the challenges of life and it's not their fault, it's ours, really, it's the adults in the world that have put them in this position.
So one piece might be is it possible for universities to create courses that teach these things and have that count towards their degree.
I don't think there's any fluffiness to that at all. That's a fundamental life skill to learn to be a, you know, effective citizen in our democracy which is also having a hard time right now and I think directly correlated to that personal development stuff.
So that's just I'm curious to know, Steven actually does that thriving program, do they get credits for that or is it more just an offering to them.
Steven - 21:08
So there is a four credit option for it, and my supervisor, Doctor Alan Choy, and I actually did have previous study on this where we compared students that did the four credit version with the not for credit version and for credit students showed very significant improvements in their health and well being. They prioritized it well with their academics and said that it was a very meaningful experience which was great!
When we looked at it with the not for credit option, we saw some different results that we're still looking at, but it is very promising to see these types of interventions, be it academic or Wellness based and in supporting our students.
We even have, at the Ted Rogers School, a program for students that are on probation where we say that it's required for them to attend, and it's a program that's built in the flourishing model so it's looking at how we can build these soft skills, so to call them on supporting good study habits, taking care of themselves, and they're required to attend a certain number of sessions for that and we've seen really positive changes in the students that attend that and their ability to go back to clear standing and being able to take more courses and pause sometimes looks like that it looks like a reduced course load, which is great too!
So that's something I like to talk to students about as well is what are the resources you have and what's depleting them, and if the depletion is a full time course, let's look at part time options or let's look at taking one semester off versus 2. A pause can look very different for a lot of students, but I would love to see more of these types of programs.
The one that we do for academics, it's called “Back to Business” and it's doing really well so far and we have an incredible staff team supporting that and I would love to continue to see the university at large create more of these programs that have either a four credit or a mandatory requirement to it so that students look at it the same way they look at it as they're required courses because I find if it's optional, they're going to be less inclined to prioritize it.
Steven - 23:04
Yeah, brilliant, that's awesome! I think there's so many random electives that people choose and that probably don't really contribute all that much to their careers and etcetera, more to their interests. But maybe if we made this type of thing more specific.
So I'll take the very individual perspective of when I'm working with young people who are on a break. Having something like that would keep them connected to the school would be fantastic.
I think if that and I don't, maybe other universities have that I don't know and at least the clients I'm working with have not ever described that, and none of them go to Ryerson.
I think it was mentioned before Michelle that student services departments are often overwhelmed or overtaxed. I find mixed reviews with that, so sometimes the support students get is helpful. Other times, it's not helpful, and that's an internal thing that probably needs to be sorted out in some way and you also mentioned it's not scalable, which I think is also a huge challenge.
I'm just going to speak as a psychotherapist, breaking down that shame and that it's all my fault. That is so important to address and to help people forgive themselves or just accept this idea that this is where they are in their life, and that that's OK. I don't think that because that's tied a lot to the academic achievement thing. I just need this thing here and I'll just sacrifice my own sanity and well-being to achieve it while simultaneously reducing my ability to achieve the perceived finish line, which I think Steven described nicely.
Part of it is how do we help people understand that, life is suffering and we have hard times and that's OK. And then, OK, we've accepted this. There's a great quote from Carl Rogers, who's one of the most famous psychiatrists psychotherapists, is “the curious paradox is until we accept ourselves for who we are, we can't change right” or “once we accept ourselves for who we are, we can change”.
That's a very difficult thing to do for people in general, but also for students who might have family pressure or they probably have social pressure.
I know one person who basically just had to lie to everybody because this person couldn't or just did not feel comfortable being honest. I had to drop out because I just couldn't take it anymore and so they make up excuses as to why they can't and this, that and the other and so.
That's the reality of what's going on in the minds of young people when they're in this position. Lots of self shame, a lot of self blame a lot of I need to lie to protect my sense of pride. I can't be honest with my parents. I'm in conflict with my parents so these are all real things that are going on and primarily it's addressing that first, although it doesn't have to be, and then it's OK. What's the plan?
I think that's another piece of what's so important about keeping people connected to the school through maybe the THRIVE program or something similar is helping them perceive the break or the gap as actually a success as part of their successful journey back into who they want to be and setting the goals.
I find goals to be nebulous because they're similar to that, “I need the academic achievement, but once I've done that then my motivation, and I think there's great studies that the graduation day is the most exciting day of a student's life and the next day is the worst day of their life because they they've passed the threshold where, oh they were on top of the mountain and now they're not.
So it goes back to that intrinsic piece, so setting a plan will say how am I going to get back into the routine that I know is good for me, and that ultimately I desire as a human being because I want to be successful, I want to be able to perform and engage in school. But I'm just really struggling right now and I don't know what to do.
Michelle Dittmer - 28:11
Yeah, I think that and it ties really nicely with some of the work that we do at CanGap. One of the things that we're working on is we've got some applications in for funding to run what we're gonna call the “Boomerang Project”, where students who are taking a break from post secondary come and work with us and they work towards the student of leadership and Humanity Award, which is award that we have put together where students earn various badges that level up into this overall award.
Then that kind of serves as their re-entry point back into the institution, and as you were saying, like some of the badges that they earn are all about identity, about Wellness, about my future, looking at plans for the future, finding a mentor.
All of these things that help to make them a stronger, more resilient person with some self awareness and awareness of the world around them can be really, really helpful so that time off is intentional and purposeful, and is setting themselves up for success once they return back.
Like you said, without a plan, it can be very overwhelming and you can go to stagnant places where you might not be evolving as a person and working through some of those challenges that you need to overcome in order to be ready to re-engage back in school.
We're really hoping that funding's gonna come through because we've seen the way that it works with just our general gap students.
But to formalize it and put it in a program and celebrate that pause in a way, yeah, and to put some credentialing around it, where they can see progress to tap into as we were talking before that desire for achievement and giving them those markers that aren't necessarily tied to a grade or a marker or a level but just personal best and personal achievement and self awareness.
It can be a really powerful tool and we see our young people that have got the awards so far really come out ahead in the long run and use it as a tool for institutions to be able to almost pass off the student, and say “ok, you need a break from us, that's totally fine. But let's get you some support so that this time is spent in a way that's constructive that will foster your development and get you back on track”, can be really, really helpful.
So I think that it's just such a beautiful conversation that we're having here, Steven, were there any other stats that came out of your study that we're interested in that you wanted to share with us?
Steven - 31:17
Yeah, I can pull that up here. So the main things we looked at were the remaining number of remaining courses students had left and it was over 50% of them had a 1 to 15 courses left, so most of them were more than halfway through their degree, which I found was very interesting.
Course delivery preference: about 68.3% of the students surveyed preferred online learning versus in person, which I found really interesting as well because prior surveys we've done, students were really eager to come back on campus.
But I think there's somewhat of an autonomy there with online learning that allows students to have more time for a little bit of flexibility as well ao I think that's really important than institutions need to keep in mind moving forward is that flexibility of how we offer learning and how it may look different for different types of learners.
For example in studies, we've seen that mature learners tend to thrive with online learning, more so than they may infer in person because of the autonomy that comes with online learning and then the last thing is for students that want to be connected with an advisor, the number one reason was to help them plan out their courses because they felt they needed more support, and figuring out what to do next. So I think that's an important piece we have to keep considering, and then the second most popular one was campus supports, a lot of students are just not aware of what supports are available to them and how to system a lot of our supports are also available to students on a pause, and that's something that students are often not aware of, so making sure that students are well aware of these two things I think is very important.
Michelle Dittmer - 32:44
Yeah, I think it's really important that as we look at students who are pushing pause that we're creating some sort of package that really gives them all of the information that they need.
Things that are available internally on campus through the school through the resources that are there, and some suggestions of things that they can do external to that.
As well as unpackage upon return, “Hey, we're so glad to see you back. Here's how we're gonna make this comfortable for you. Here's how we're going to reintegrate you back into this place, that you may still have some toxic feelings towards. How can we support you in developing a more positive relationship and what do we need to do? Do we need to do a reduced course load to get back into this? Do we need to connect you with a counselor or an advisor on campus?
Really supporting them both in the exiting phase and in that return phase and make it as simple as possible? Because one thing that I've seen through all the work I've done with youth is, it's not that there's a lack of services out there, it's that there's a lack of connection between the young person and the services that are out there and they really need help navigating that, so the simpler we can make it the more straightforward it can be, the more likely there is to be success between connecting that person with the resources that they need.
Steven - 34:17
I think that's so important too, because when I started this retention project four years ago, the process was very simple. I emailed students that weren't enrolled, said hey, do you want to come back? And then that was kind of it, and I saw out of the students I contacted. It was about 600, about 7% of them wanted to come back.
So it was pretty low 7% and over the past four years we've really redesigned and developed this process to be very robust, and now there's a referral process, we gather information on what the students need, we have individualized appointments with them to discuss their catered plan, and now we're seeing over 20% of students re enrolling.
So more than double the results just from us having more of a personalized touch and more of an infrastructure for support.
Michelle Dittmer - 34:59
I love it! Yeah, it's so funny when I sometimes talk also about the deferral process and what that looks like and the simplest thing like sending them a university or college sweater like that. That hoodie that will go through the wash and they'll put it back on, “I still belong here, this is still part of who I am.”
That $30 investment that the institution makes and in providing a gift saying we'll miss you, we're here when you're ready. Here's a sweater that reminds me, and it goes through the wash and it comes back.
And no, I'm not ready now, but I will be and they want me those little tiny, tiny things that are symbolic but also good reminders that there is a place for you that can be home again, for you can be so, so helpful.
Steven - 35:51
Michelle Dittmer - 35:51
So this has been just such an interesting and fruitful conversation, and we do have to wrap it up. So I'm going to ask you to leave us with one piece of advice.
If you could boil it down and give one piece of advice for institutions who are investigating or supporting students who are taking an intentional pause, who are taking some sort of gap from their studies, what would that be?
We'll start with you, Steven, then we'll jump over to Mike.
Steven - 36:22
Sure, I think that developing and designing a retention strategy that's built on not only strategic enrollment management to support the university, but that's also built on principles of supporting student Wellness and degree persistence is paramount.
And if anyone ever had questions, I'd be happy to support them in building one. We've spent the last four or five years getting to the point where it's now become a really well oiled machine and I think it's just an important part of supporting our students.
Michelle Dittmer - 36:50
Awesome and Mike, what's your piece of wisdom here?
Mike - 36:55
Sure, yeah, that was awesome! It would be too for universities to perhaps remember that university is a place in which students are there to learn and grow and develop themselves.
And so when students are requesting a pause or reintegrating is just to reinforce and remind them that they have the capacity within themselves to be resilient to bounce back and to pursue their values and the person they want to be and act in the world in a way that they came to university to pursue to begin with.
So I think that's a reminder they have the capacity to be resilient and to get back on track, and that this is not a sign of failure.
In some sense, it's a huge sign of courage and humility and honesty to accept the fact that I'm at a rough patch, that's OK, I'm going to do everything I can to address that, and then I'm going to return, ideally in a better position, and that I'm capable of doing that and capable of succeeding.
So that would be my two cents.
Michelle Dittmer - 38:14
I love it! So much wisdom here, and I think for me it would be just reminding institutions that the studies show that those who do take gap time they end up being better students. They have a different sense of why they're studying and what they're studying. They tend to have higher grades. They tend to be more employable once they graduate. They do have that autonomy, they're in the driver seat of their life. They're not just fumbling along doing what everybody else is doing, they've had to take a detour. They've had to step off that conveyor belt and make some decisions, some active decisions instead of just passively moving through life and the studies show that it makes them better students and better alum.
So when you want those graduates that are going to make your institution proud when you want to see your students be successful, then this pause is not something to be feared. It is something that we can support as institutions, and if there's anything that the Canadian Gap Year Association can do to help you on that journey of figuring out how to support them and how to see that successful reintegration, by all means, you can reach out to us.
Through our website we are more than happy to support you on your journeys as institutions.
Steven, where can folks find more or connect with you if they have any further questions, yeah, I would say e-mail is the easiest or LinkedIn. Either of those are great!
Perfect and Mike, where can we find you?
Yeah, same e-mail or just my website startswithme.ca perfect and I will pop those into the show notes.
So our folks want to reach out to you, you can find all of their contact information there.
So Steven and Mike, thank you so much for joining me in this conversation today.
Thank you for having us.