An article published yesterday in Education Week provides conclusive evidence that bridge years improve student success and completion rates in college.
The article cites a Journal of Educational Psychology study in which 2,800 students who had taken gap years were interviewed in subsequent years. The report concluded that the majority of students who had taken a gap year “reported significantly higher motivation in college—in the form of ‘adaptive behavior’ such as planning, task management, and persistence—than did students who did not take a gap year.”
Additional research conducted by Karl Haigler and Rae Nelson – GCY Advisory Council members – found that 60% of returned bridge year students reported that their time between high school and college “had either inspired or confirmed their choice of career or academic major.”
Yesterday’s news coincides with the arrival our 33 newest Global Citizen Year fellows in California. As an organization committed to monitoring and evaluation, GCY is developing tools to track the impact of our program on our Fellows’ trajectory in college and careers.
Over time, we look forward to contributing our findings to the growing body of research on the benefits of a structured “bridge year”.