Welcome to The Sanborn Gap Semester
The Sanborn Gap Semester is a two-month, experiential learning semester that expands upon the classic Sanborn Western Camps and Colorado Outdoor Education Center adventures. It is designed for anyone ages 18-25+ who is ready for an intentional experience focusing on empowerment, skill development and personal growth in the outdoors. In this time of social isolation and variable academic modalities, the Sanborn Gap Semester offers a chance to connect with others and to build resilience in a powerful, supportive community.
What IS a Gap Program?
According to the Gap Year Association, quality gap programs:
- Provide clarity and purpose: the student will have a better grasp on what they want to study and why;
- Improve earning and business potential: deepen communication and interpersonal skills through challenging experiences with “real world” applications;
- Improve academic outcomes: such as GPA, time-to-graduation, and leadership
The Sanborn Gap Semester provides these outcomes and far more by creating a unique, experiential learning and growth community. Our program emphasizes personal responsibility, problem solving, collaboration and competency development through four different expeditionary learning modules in the American Southwest and through on-campus living and learning opportunities in Florissant, Colorado.
Experiential & Meaningful
When on-site, Sanborn Gap Semester participants live in cozy cabins with internet access and share meals and community living responsibilities.
On-site experiences include:
- Earning certifications (Wilderness First Responder, Mental Health First Aid, Level 1 Avalanche Training, etc.)
- Learning from engaging speakers, including professors and professionals with a variety of backgrounds and careers
- Preparing for their Capstone Experience with knowledge acquisition, independent planning and real-time application
When off-site, we’ll travel throughout the American Southwest for four expeditions:
- Rock climbing
- Mountain biking and bike packing
- Ski touring
Throughout our adventures and back at High Trails, participants will learn the natural and human history of each environment we explore and our place in it. Participants in the Sanborn Gap program will spend extensive time challenging themselves, and each other, in a strong community setting that emphasizes the development of healthy and productive communication, resilience and conflict resolution skills.