Our staff is a collection of teachers, clinicians, fitness gurus, yogis, and career counselors who all see ourselves as master educators dedicated to working with this specific population of 17-25 year-olds.
We all believe that the traditional learning environment in college can ruthlessly leave behind many students if the student is not prepared for the social, emotional, academic, and organizational rigors inherent in the college experience. We are exceptionally kind and student-focused and strive to be nonjudgmental in our approach. We take our responsibility as educators and role models with the utmost of seriousness while also keeping things light and playful as much as possible at Semester Off. We often relate to our students in overt ways, and we speak of our own struggles and the ways in which we have been able to battle our own demons. Every one of our students knows that they matter to us and that we are truly “in it” with them.
In our teaching, we utilize traditional university techniques (e.g., didactic lectures and the Harkness method), as well as a more cutting-edge technique known as experiential learning.
The “feel” around Semester Off is positive, vibrant, and future-oriented. We are highly collaborative as a staff and with our students and treat our students as the “emerging adults” they are. We employ a strengths-based, positive psychology along with a “growth mindset” on a daily basis. We also believe that there is a special kind of wisdom that peers can give one another, and we respect our students’ thoughts and positions and encourage them to help their peers whenever they are able to do so.