March 2013 – update from AGA

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Dear Gap Year advocates,

I wanted to take a few moments and thank you all for your continued support, and share the current progress that is being made by AGA and our growing team!

Update on AGA Standards:
The Standards were supposed to be finished on March 22nd. Due to some late, but important feedback, I’ve been forced to push back the official release until Monday, April 1st. There have been many updates, all of which I’m confident are for the better. Additionally, we are creating an online application process for Accreditation that will allow an organization to create their own document folders, and literally drag-and-drop each standard into that folder, and as needed create new folders for other documents that address each Standard. Additionally, in order to incentivize organizations, AGA will be offering a FEE WAIVER FOR ALL APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY JULY 15th. We will be making a major national push in August to ride the “Back-To-School” media frenzy.

Update on Advisory Board:
I’m proud to welcome some new names to the Board, including the CEO of IECA, two independent education consultants, the president of Effective Altruism (and past director of idealist.org’s international volunteering department), and the Deputy Management Counselor for the US Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil (a parent of a past Gap Year student). Stay tuned as these amazing individuals grow in number!  Check out the new members at www.americangap.org/advisors.php.

Research and Data Collection:
I was lucky enough to have a full-day planning session with Nina Hoe, our PhD candidate who is pioneering some fantastic data collection that will no doubt benefit all of us.  In short, Nina has managed to get ahold of some protected data by the Department of Education that will allow us to create some control groups – thus making the data that we gather more robust against challenge.  We will be asking AGA Accredited organizations to share a link with students who apply to their organizations such that we can begin to track longitudinally but, in the short term, we are concocting a massive Facebook campaign designed to get a census of all of the US Gap Year students over the past decade so that we have some more data that can be aggregated with those controls that are given from the DOE’s own data.  This is exciting stuff for those of us geeks like myself, and stay tuned for more to come!

Be well, and keep up the momentum, as Gap Years, YTD over last year, are showing a 58.2% increase in enrollment!

 

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Yours,
Ethan Knight