Earn College Credit on your Alzar Gap Experience

During the Alzar Gap experience, students have the option to earn up to 16 college semester credits through our relationship with Portland State University, and Western Colorado University. All of our college credit opportunities are entirely optional and designed to add depth, and value to your Alzar Gap experience. Please reach out to the Director at Director@Alzargap.org with any questions!

College Credit Offered on the Patagonia Exchange Program

In this course, students will better understand the ways populations are impacted by their location – environmentally, historically, culturally, and economically. Students will explore how social divisions occur as well as how divisions can be positively addressed. Students will learn about how the local culture has evolved to its present state, and strive to understand what

This course will provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who participate in study away experiences. It offers students the chance to learn outside of the classroom while building intercultural competencies through global learning and community-based participation. Through immersive experiences and service-learning engagements, the course will help students develop stronger communication skills with individuals from a variety different backgrounds including (but not limited to): socio-economic, racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious lived experiences.

This course is designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who participate in study away opportunities. It offers the student a chance to learn outside of the classroom focusing on sustainability and technological issues impacting communities locally, regionally and/or globally. Students will engage with issues of environmental sustainability observed through travel and service-learning. 

This course is designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who undertake study away opportunities. It offers the student an opportunity to learn outside of the classroom and to learn first-hand about local issues of global citizenship observed through travel. It will provide an introduction to the richness of cultures in the world, drawing on perspectives from the locals themselves, and rooted in the humanities and social sciences. Students will explore the balance between political, economic, environmental, and cultural systems, to cultivate skills and attitudes in support of global citizenship. 

This course will provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who undertake foreign travel. It offers the student an opportunity to learn outside of the classroom and affords an opportunity to learn first-hand about how climate change affects local ecosystems and the people that depend on them. Through travel and service-learning, the course will equip students with an awareness about global impacts of climate change; students will be able to identify specific impacts local to their travels that result from rising CO2 emissions; and students will research how multiple issues of climate change can compound for great effect.

This course is designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who undertake study away opportunities. This course introduces global perspectives, basic concepts and fundamental questions of geography. It focuses on how all locations on Earth are interconnected. It explores how humans use, adapt, and impact their environment through a variety of social constraints. Students will work to understand the growth and distribution of human populations, the complexities and varying systems of land use, geopolitics and colonialism, as well as the geographic impact of selected issues such as land use and urban development. 

This course is designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who undertake study away opportunities. In this study of colonialism and the history of Western influences, students will strive to understand the influences that colonialism has had on the host-country. Students will explore the ways local cultures have been impacted by the influences of “westernized countries” that might include infrastructure (roads, trains, and transportation), language, gender roles, world-view, social justice issues, sanitation, food, politics, political influences, natural resource management, etc. 

This course provides students with an opportunity to learn through work experience and volunteer service concurrent with assignments while on their academic study away program. It engages students in meaningful work/volunteer experiences while helping them gain an understanding of a particular issue of their choosing relevant to globalization and its impacts on local populations including international development initiatives.

This course is designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who undertake study away opportunities. This course creates a chance for students to assess and understand differing models of leadership in modern societies. Students will explore varying models of leadership from a host culture perspective, compare them to the student’s home culture, and assess personal leadership strengths. Students will be expected to integrate information from participant observation, research, readings and interviews to inform conclusions.

This course will provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who participate in study away opportunities. It will introduce students to examples of social entrepreneurship and ask them to reflect and analyze an organization’s ability to drive enduring change. Students will understand a problematic issue in-depth and analyze ways social entrepreneurs have attempted to address this issue. 

This course will provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who participate in study away opportunities. Students will examine issues associated with sustainability in the hospitality and tourism industry. This course will introduce students to the idea of the triple bottom line (economic, social, and environmental) and ask them to analyze sustainability programs in practice with a critical eye toward evaluating their effectiveness. 

This course is designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who undertake study away opportunities. Students will explore the ways in which human individuality is defined by social contexts, leveraging topics such as identity, intelligence, motivation, coping skills, psychological disorders, and cultural context. By comparing their own experiences, students will learn about the theories, methodologies, and research that help frame how humans interact with one another, and thus better contextualize their own cultural norms and biases.

This course is designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who undertake study away opportunities. Students will explore the ways in which human individuality is defined by social contexts, leveraging topics such as identity, intelligence, motivation, coping skills, psychological disorders, and cultural context. By comparing their own experiences, students will learn about the theories, methodologies, and research that help frame how humans interact with one another, and thus better contextualize their own cultural norms and biases.

The Culminating Leadership Project (CLP) can follow two directions; a project designed to improve a student’s home community and/or an internship/vocational experience that incorporates leadership components from a student’s Alzar Gap program. The experience involves leading a group of peers in action and/or working closely with coworkers to address a common issue. Students can expect to spend approximately 75 hours working on their CLP project outside of the 15 hours spent planning their project during the Alzar Gap program. If they complete the project and the coursework for the practicum course, they earn 2 college credits through Western Colorado University.

College Credit Offered on the Wild and Scenic Program

This course is designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who participate in study away opportunities. It offers the student a chance to learn outside of the classroom focusing on sustainability and technological issues impacting communities locally, regionally and/or globally. Students will engage with issues of environmental sustainability observed through travel and service-learning

This course is designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who undertake study away opportunities. Students will explore the ways in which human individuality is defined by social contexts, leveraging topics such as identity, intelligence, motivation, coping skills, psychological disorders, and cultural context. By comparing their own experiences, students will learn about the theories, methodologies, and research that help frame how humans interact with one another, and thus better contextualize their own cultural norms and biases.

This course will provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who participate in study away opportunities. It will introduce students to examples of social entrepreneurship and ask them to reflect and analyze an organization’s ability to drive enduring change. Students will understand a problematic issue in-depth and analyze ways social entrepreneurs have attempted to address this issue.

This course will provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students who participate in study away opportunities. Students will examine issues associated with sustainability in the hospitality and tourism industry. This course will introduce students to the idea of the triple bottom line (economic, social, and environmental) and ask them to analyze sustainability programs in practice with a critical eye toward evaluating their effectiveness.

The Culminating Leadership Project (CLP) can follow two directions; a project designed to improve a student’s home community and/or an internship/vocational experience that incorporates leadership components from a student’s Alzar Gap program. The experience involves leading a group of peers in action and/or working closely with coworkers to address a common issue. Students can expect to spend approximately 75 hours working on their CLP project outside of the 15 hours spent planning their project during the Alzar Gap program. If they complete the project and the coursework for the practicum course, they earn 2 college credits through Western Colorado University.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What does it look like to complete a college course while on an Alzar Gap program?

Portland State University course requirements generally consist of a daily journal, required reading, active participation in your Alzar Gap program, and a final paper (completed when you return home). The courses are designed to allow students to reflect on the experiences that they are having on their Alzar Gap program. All of the PSU courses can be completed with access to a pen, journal and smartphone. 

 

The Culminating Leadership Project is meant to be partially planned on an Alzar Gap program, and completed independently after the program. The course is completely optional, included in tuition, and is eligible for credit through Western Colorado University. 

 

What are the Tuition and Fees?

Portland State University charges a flat fee of $1700 per semester, whether a student chooses to take one class or 4 classes. Once registered, there is a cancellation fee of $600.

Western Colorado University charges $340 if a student is seeking college credit for the Culminating Leadership Project course. Please see “Important Dates” below for information about late and cancellation fees.

 

Can I use a 529 Plan?

As long as students register by the deadline for college credit, they are eligible to use 529 funds for both PSU courses and for Alzar Gap tuition. Students will receive an invoice with their PSU ID number and will have the funds sent directly to PSU.

 

How do I know the courses will transfer?

Portland State University is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and Western Colorado University is accredited through The Higher Learning Commission. Both PSU and WCU credits are generally accepted at both private and public universities/colleges. However, we encourage students to contact their college or university’s admissions office to ensure that all PSU credits will transfer and not interfere with a student’s deferral plan. Please refer to the Gap Year to College page from the Gap Year Association for a list of college and university deferral policies. 

 

Are there Important Deadlines?

You must register for courses by the enrollment deadline for your particular program. You may cancel enrollment in college courses up to 4 weeks prior to your program. Cancelling enrollment in PSU college courses after that window will incur a charge of $600.

Enrollment Deadlines:

Fall Programs: August 1st

Spring Programs: January 8th

Summer Programs: College Credit not available

 

Coursework Submission Deadlines:

Fall Programs: January 20th

Spring Programs: June 20th

What is the Process for Enrolling in College Courses?

Step One: Enroll in either the Wild and Scenic Program or the Patagonia Exchange Program.

 

Step Two: Choose between 1 – 4 courses from this list of offerings from PSU and communicate your choices to an Alzar Gap representative upon enrollment in your program. Review the course requirements, and pre-requisites on each syllabus. Contact your college or university’s admission office to ensure that PSU credits will transfer and not interfere with a student’s deferral plan.

 

Step Three: Register and pay for your courses by submitting a Course Registration Form to Alzar Gap before the registration deadline. The Course Registration Fee is a $1700 flat fee, whether you choose to complete one or four courses through PSU.

 

Step Four: Meet your college course instructor via email.

 

Step Five: Complete and submit the course requirements. Course requirements generally consist of a daily journal, required reading, active participation in your Alzar Gap program, and a final paper (completed when you return home).

 

Step Six: Receive grades and request a transcript. 

 

Step Seven: Transfer credit to your university or college. Portland State University is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and PSU credits are generally accepted at both private and public universities/colleges. However, we encourage students to contact their college or university’s admissions office to ensure that all PSU credits will transfer and not interfere with a student’s deferral plan.

Step One: Enroll in either the Wild and Scenic Program or the Patagonia Exchange Program.

 

Step Two: Contact your college or university’s admission office to ensure that WCU credits will transfer and not interfere with a student’s deferral plan.

 

Step Three: Register and pay for your course by submitting a Course Registration Form to Alzar Gap before the April 1st registration deadline. The Course Registration Fee is a $340 flat fee.

 

Step Four: Complete and submit the course requirements. Please refer to the Culminating Leadership Project page to find out more information about this course.

 

Step Five: Receive grades and request a transcript. 

 

Step Six: Transfer credit to your university or college. Portland State University is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and PSU credits are generally accepted at both private and public universities/colleges. However, we encourage students to contact their college or university’s admissions office to ensure that all PSU credits will transfer and not interfere with a student’s deferral plan.