Gap Year/Post-Graduate Service Programs

Each year, up to 10% of St. Olaf graduates choose to embark upon a full-time service opportunities. These programs provide opportunities to gain experience, explore career interests, develop leadership skills, travel and help strengthen communities as part of a one or two year commitment.  Positions can be found in a number of areas such as social services, education, environmental sustainability, public health, advocacy and public policy, and community development.  Visit our general information page to find more about gap year/post-graduate service.  The Piper Center is eager to assist students in the process of learning about, selecting and applying to post-graduate service programs.

Service Expo (formerly the World Wide Service Fair) — March 3rd from 11:15am- 2:15pm (Crossroads)
Meet with representatives from over 20 gap year and service organizations.

Domestic Opportunities

AmeriCorps – Includes thousands of one-year service opportunities across the country. Application cycles and competitiveness varies by specific program. AmeriCorps Advanced Search (only includes positions that are actively seeking applicants).

Faith-based Programs (Lutheran Volunteer Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, etc.) – Programs typically require community living and encourage intentional reflection on values such as service, social justice, sustainability and spirituality.

Teach for America – Members are hired as full-time, first year teachers in under-resourced schools throughout the country, and receive full teacher’s salary.  Two-year teaching commitment. Most participants earn teacher certification.

Alternative Routes to Teaching Certification Programs — State-defined routes through which an individual who already has at least a bachelor’s degree can obtain certification to teach without necessarily having to participate in a campus-based certification program.

Organizing Training Programs/Jobs — paid, one or two-year full-immersion training programs in grassroots or community-based organizing. Includes programs such as Green Corps, Change Corps, Direct Action & Research Training Center (DART) and IMPACT.

International Opportunities

Peace Corps – Volunteers serve for two years (plus three months of training) in over 70 countries. St. Olaf has an outstanding record of preparing students for the Peace Corps. Recruiters visit campus usually once each semester.

Teaching English Abroad – Hundreds of opportunities to teach English in another country. Compensation ranges from full salary in developed countries to living expenses only in less developed countries.

Long-term International Volunteer Programs – Variety of programs, faith-based and secular, that provide partial or full funding for living expenses.