Why a Gap Year Program?
A Word to Parents from our Director:
If there is one thing I would want parents to know as they consider whether or not a Gap-Year program is a worthy investment, it would be this: I’m not just the Director of Compass, I’m also a dad. In other words, I get it. I understand the time and investment that we have already put into our children. I understand the cost, both emotionally and economically of raising kids. I have three kids, and all three were raised in a Christian home, educated with a Christian worldview and immersed in the Christian Church. But even with all that background, I have become convinced that taking 9 months to put them through an “apprenticeship” is not just a good idea, but is necessary to ensure a smooth launch into their adult lives.
Of my many years observing and working with 18-22 year olds, I have lost count of the number of young people who head off to college but find that they aren’t equipped to take that serious step. Not only are they not firm in their faith, but they also lack some of the most basic skills necessary for life. These kids may graduate with a college degree, but they still lack wisdom. The cultural norms of entitlement and immaturity swallow them up, and they find they aren’t prepared for real life.
We have created the gap year program to give young adults the necessary foundations for a full and beautiful life as a disciple of Jesus Christ. As a dad, I am not interested in making an investment if it is just about delaying the responsibilities of college and beyond. But if instead of taking a year off, there were a program that offered a year up, that would be a whole different story. When I was hired to help create Compass, it was with three goals in mind:
Cultivating Faith: We want to see them grow in their faith by learning about God and His Word and how this should inform every area of their lives.
Nurturing Community: We also want to teach them the tools necessary for developing and maintaining healthy interpersonal-relationships. This will make them successful in everything from business to marriage.
Forging Character: We desire that our students would not only increase in virtues like perseverance, integrity, work ethic, compassion, and discipline, but also to be equipped with basic life skills that are practical for everyday living (i.e. budgeting/finances, healthy diet/cooking, car maintenance, etc.,).
In short, we want Compass to be intellectually rigorous and spiritually nurturing, with an emphasis on forming well-rounded adults. If the next generation is to be equipped to go into all areas of life, then Christ and His Word must be the bedrock of this foundation. I am persuaded that this is the primary way to produce cultural servant/leaders. At Compass, we understand and embrace this kind of posture in our mission, vision and values. We would welcome the opportunity to join with your student as they prepare to launch into the next phase of their life.
Dr. Dave Lescalleet
Director of Compass