The story of UnCollege and its Gap Year Program begins with its founder Dale J. Stephens. Dale was unschooled – an education movement that promotes self-directed learning – from sixth through the twelfth grade and enrolled at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas following “high school.” At Hendrix, Stephens came to the conclusion that he needed time to decide what he wanted to pursue professionally and that his college experience was not adequately teaching him the 21st century skills he knew he would need to succeed in the professional world. Dale responded in January of 2011 by creating a hub for a powerful international experiential learning community – UnCollege.org.
In an effort to help young adults in an even more hands on manner, Dale and the UnCollege staff launched its first Gap Year Program in the Fall of 2013. Since then, young adults from 15 different countries have participated in the program. Upon graduating the program, UnCollege Fellows have gone on to start their own companies, receive university scholarships, join startups, and help non-profits around the globe.