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The Virtual Gap Program is a journey into academic college life, holistic well-being, and career exploration. It was designed for high school graduates who are deferring college enrollment or taking a semester off from college. It's also for anyone who's looking to explore the world, ponder big ideas, improve their well-being and gain virtual internship experience—all from the safety and comfort of their own home.
You will be guided through the Virtual Gap Experience by Program Coordinator Kellie Nadeau. Kellie has worked at Champlain for over 10 years, and anyone who knows Kellie will tell you her commitment to our students is personal—she truly wants you to be successful and happy. Kellie will guide you through everything you need to be successful. This will include walking you through the business of being a student—things like getting your Champlain email, registering for class sessions, and gaining access to Canvas (our premier online learning tool). She'll also be there to help you work through any obstacles you face whether it be managing your time, or ensuring you make strong connections with faculty and other students.
The curriculum for the Fall and Spring semesters is unique, and does not require students to take one before the other. No matter if you're a new or continuing student the information in each semester will support your continued growth.
Learn more about the Virtual Gap Program modules below.
(If you're interested in adding another course, check out the Level 2 Program here.)
You'll take a three-credit course that explores the human brain and teaches you how to apply mindfulness in all areas of your life.
Learning how to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit is fundamental to your overall growth and success; it provides a solid foundation for everything else you'll do in life. That's why the well-being module spans the full 15 weeks of each semester of the program. When you experience tension and anxiety (and who wouldn't right now!), it's hard for information to sink in. We'll teach you how to handle stress and doubt using techniques based in science and proven scholarly research. You will emerge from your gap experience with constructive strategies to grow and thrive, along with direction, purpose, and a stronger sense of self.
The Well-Being Module in Depth
Now, more than ever, we need to know how our brains work. In particular, we need to understand why we respond in certain ways during stressful times and to traumatic events. During the Virtual Gap Program, we'll teach you ways to bounce back, gain control over your mind, and develop resilience.
The well-being module is delivered through two of Champlain's most popular courses—fall semester PSY 185: Mindcraft: the Psychology of Well-being, spring semester PSY 285: Mindcraft: Be the Boss of Your Thoughts—and is taught by beloved faculty member and wellness expert, Dr. Kimberly Quinn.
We have a tendency to blame our brain a great deal—for forgetting, for making us feel bad about ourselves, for being slower than we need it to be. But often we don't invest the time it takes to look after our mind's health. What if we put the same energy into developing our brain as we do in other areas of our life? Just imagine what this amazing organ can do!
During the Virtual Gap Program, you'll learn to become the "Boss of Your Brain." You'll begin to understand how the cognitive process works and take active steps to prioritize your own well-being. We'll equip you with proven strategies to improve and maintain your mental, emotional, and physical self—things like practicing daily thought control and gratitude, prioritizing fun and movement, developing a growth mindset, and exploring your interests and passions.
Begin an intellectual adventure and experience the difference of college-level academic thinking. Dive into thought-provoking topics through live lectures and discussions that will help you explore and better understand the world.
BIG IDEAS & INTERNATIONAL EXPLORATION
Through guided 'live' lectures and discussions with leading experts, cohort sessions, and self-reflection, you'll develop informed perspectives on Big Idea topics like Having Impact in the World, Machine Learning, Design Thinking, Identity (Gender, Race, Class, etc), and more. You'll also broaden your horizons and develop cultural awareness through informative (and fun) international experiences brought to you by Champlain faculty and alumni from around the world.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEAKER SERIES
Leading innovators of our time will join Champlain College President, Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande, to share their perspectives and stories, knowledge and expertise, values and challenges.
The Academic Module in Depth
Through virtual lectures by leading experts, you'll explore big ideas—like creating positive change, relationships and love, social media, sustainability, and so much more. Spread out over the first 10 weeks of the gap experience, these engaging and interactive sessions will open up your mind and lay the foundation for the hands-on experience you'll gain in the Professional Growth portion of the Virtual Gap Program. Topics may include:
Explore the world through exciting and informative international experiences brought to you virtually by Champlain faculty from around the globe. International sessions will be presented weekly throughout the semester, with guided group discussions moderated by the faculty member who gave the talk. Experiences might include:
Virtual Gap Program participants will be invited to join in Champlain's 15-week-long inspiring Presidential Speaker Series. Champlain's President, Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande, will invite notable business leaders and public figures to share their perspectives and stories, knowledge and expertise, values and challenges.
Dr. Akande is a respected economist, scholar educator, and global business authority, as well as a recognized civic leader.
Once you've cultivated your intellectual self and developed informed perspectives on issues that matter, you'll dive into virtual internships and start gaining valuable hands-on experience.
During your last five weeks of each semester, you'll take on a team-based virtual internship with Champlain's extensive employer network. You'll collaborate with fellow students and industry insiders (just as you will in the real world) and develop skills you will be proud to call out on your resume and LinkedIn profile. (We'll help you polish those, too!).
The Professional Module in Depth
Champlain College's professionally focused education means every student learns from experience. In the final five weeks of each Virtual Gap Program semester, you'll take on a virtual internship through Champlain's extensive employer network. You'll choose from a variety of interdisciplinary options organized by Champlain's Centers of Experience and mentored by industry professionals. The Professional Self module allows you to gain real-world experience working for clients on collaborative teams, just as you will in your career.
Through virtual internships and one-on-one consultations with Champlain's renowned Career Collaborative team of Career Coaches, you'll develop important professional skills:
Champlain's innovative Centers of Experience serve as a bridge between our students' college experience and their professional lives. The Centers connect theory to practice and bring our radically pragmatic education to life. You'll be able to work on virtual internships on collaborative teams in any of the following Centers:
CHOOSE ONE OF TWO EXCITING COURSE OPTIONS
FALL SEMESTER: How about a thought provoking, fun and tasty food writing course? Taught by Champlain's award-winning faculty member, Susan Semenak, a veteran journalist, food writer and cookbook author, this class will have you exploring the world through food. Or, choose Reading, Writing, and (Insert Your Topic). In COR 102, you'll take a topic—options may include Happiness, Gender in Popular Culture, Race in the U.S., and Natural Environment—and read, write, and think about it in mind-blowing ways.
SPRING SEMESTER: Having a foundational understanding of how a business runs will benefit you in pretty much every aspect of your life. In the Spring Semester of the Virtual Gap you can take one of Champlain's most popular classes, BUS 110: Business and the Entrepreneurial Mindset. Through real-world examples and hand-on activities, you'll embrace an entrepreneurial mindset that will facilitate your understanding of the major functions of business and the relationships between them. Or, in COR 103: Navigating Your Information Landscape, you will explore questions like: What makes an argument good or bad? What counts as evidence in our post-truth world? How can you understand and assess the truth value of a claim when you're not an expert? In this course you'll learn rhetorical strategies about how to examine arguments and types of evidence in different disciplines and fields of study.
Level 2 is eligible for financial aid. To be eligible for financial aid, participants must be admitted into a Champlain degree program and meet the requirements for federal financial aid.