Irish Gap Year is an education company based in southwest Donegal, Ireland.
Our mission is to develop more self-aware, independent, confident and resilient young people. We achieve this transformative experience through the values of community integration, immersion in nature, experiential education, exploration of the arts and creativity, meaningful travel, volunteering and cultural exchange.
We imagine a future where education addresses the holistic person, where young people are equipped with the emotional, social and practical tools to succeed in a rapidly changing world full of challenges.
Irish Gap Year has created our gap year programs based on the highest industry standards. Working with Gap Year consultants we have created sustainable policies in the areas of staff, marketing, financial aid and partnerships. After every Gap year program we evaluate all these areas in a structured format with both parents, students and staff to improve our programming.
Irish Gap year acknowledges that there are certain barriers to entry in Gap year programs. This includes, but not exclusively, economic restraints. Irish Gap Year works with parents and gap year consultants to best overcome economic barriers to students joining a gap year program. This will take the form of financial aid and or additional resources as required. At Irish Gap year we offer financial aid for specifically underrepresented student groups.
All Irish Gap Year program leaders are to be developed and trained to FETAC level 7, Train the Trainer by 2023. This will allow program leaders to relate to different learning styles and understand experiential education in the context of gap year programming. Directors and senior managers are to develop their industry knowledge by taking part in industry lead workshops and conferences. Each director will be targeted to complete at least two continual professional developments (CPDs) per year.
Irish Gap year has committed to 15% financial aid on all programs for the next 5 years (until 2025). The allocation of this aid can be whole or partial to an individual student. The qualifying criteria will be driven by diversity as outlined in our vision statement. The strategic goal of Irish Gap Year's financial aid is to diversify the socio-economic background of students on our programs.
At Irish Gap Year we are committed to promote the values of diversity, equality and inclusion throughout our programing and work environment. Irish Gap Year programs will provide opportunities for all students to thrive through the promotion of positive identities and abilities, the celebration of diversity and difference, and the provision of an inclusive, participative culture and environment.
Irish Gap year will continue to develop relationships with our current volunteer partners. Directors at Irish Gap year must annually review all partnerships to confirm that a shared willingness to work together still exists. New partnerships are to be developed as and when required. From the outset all new partners are to be vetted. The strategic goal of Irish Gap Year is that all existing partners are vetted annually.
Irish Gap year will work to close the loop with parents and alumni post program completion. Marketing efforts will be focused on both promoting Irish Gap Year programs and the concept of a gap year itself. Irish Gap year will act as 'gap year' advocates, endorsing the values and benefits of a gap year to students and parents alike.
Improvements in Programming
Feedback from alumni and parents, together with industry knowledge gained from workshops and conferences will be used to continually review and update Irish Gap Year programing. All Irish Gap Year programs are reviewed annually.