The Center for INTERIM Programs

Why The Center for Interim Programs was Founded:

For Students:

The Center for Interim Programs was originally founded in 1980 to assist students in making a more effective transition from high school to college and for college students to evaluate what they wanted to achieve in their college careers. Parents tend to forget that they put their children on an educational convoy when they are five years old and that the convoy rolls relentlessly on until they graduate. Unfortunately, much of this process is "schooling" and not the true learning that is education.

Three basic ingredients were deemed necessary: one, that there would be structure in every option because young people need structure in order to make sensible decisions; two, that there would be a skill involved; and three, that money would not be an inhibiting factor. Students who choose to take gap-year time begin to understand that education can happen outside of a classroom, especially if they have been allergic to the formal educational process. They experience the work ethic first-hand and have an opportunity to give something back to society through social service. They often travel abroad, grapple with learning foreign languages, confront new value systems, and, above all, start to take responsibility for themselves as they acquire direction and focus. Through structured risk-taking, they become more independent and self-reliant. Many regain self-esteem and self-confidence that the relentless testing, academic competition, and a grade-oriented academic system can undermine. Time away from the traditional classroom frequently rekindles their interest in formal academics.

For Adults:

Although Interim originally focused on the needs of the student population, which has traditionally been a group known for taking gap-year "time off," the process of creative risk-taking and personal expansion is equally relevant to adults of any age. Interim has placed a steady stream of men and women casting about for new career opportunities or career breaks, senior executives and teachers looking for interesting sabbatical options, and retirees seeking fulfilling activities or programs to engage their interest. The emphases may differ, the needs alter slightly, but, overall, the Interim mechanics are the same, and the desire for change, for broadened experience, is shared by all.

At The Center for Interim Programs we believe that all of us need to take periods of time during our lives to reassess priorities and potentials, to expand our horizons, and to continue to grow and mature. It is our conviction that we can offer a wide range of structured options to anyone who wishes to partake of such a creative time, at any stage of life.

Holly Bull, President
Jane Sarouhan, Vice President
Jason Sarouhan, Vice President
Kate Warren, Director of Research


©2008 The Center for Interim Programs, LLC · Princeton, NJ (609) 683-4300 · Northampton, MA (413) 585-0980 · email: