Many students choose other options besides entering college the September following high school graduation and find it a valuable and rewarding experience. While this option may be considered and researched throughout senior year of high school, it is strongly recommended that you do not use this strategy in isolation. Taking time off requires careful consideration and discussion with family members. It is strongly recommended that students considering a “year off” still pursue the college exploration and application process during senior year. This ensures that you will have options in March, April and May available if you have a change of heart. Additionally, many colleges will allow students to defer their acceptance until the following September, enabling the student to take time to pursue other interests and experiences for a year, returning to college the next September. 

Consider a year off if: 

• You have an opportunity to travel or work in a new environment 

• You have a special interest or passion you wish to pursue outside of college 

• You want to strengthen your academic profile 

• You need a break from school and need to do something different 

There are endless possibilities and resources available to those considering a year off experience. If a student wishes to travel there are dozens of exchange programs. For a community service experience contact City Year, AmeriCorps, or SCA (Student Conservation Association.) Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School offer high quality programs to build self-esteem, self-reliance and leadership skills. Visions International offers opportunities in cross-cultural living and outdoor exploration, while programs like ITHAKA Cultural Study Programs in Greece allow a student to live with a Greek family, learn the language, study the history and work on an active archeological project. Time Out Associates in Milton is another resource worth consulting for some targeted information on programs and year-off opportunities.

A student looking to strengthen their academic profile might consider a post-graduate year experience at one of the many fine independent schools in our nation such as Andover, Choate, Exeter or Taft. Others might consider attending the American School in Switzerland or Paris. A student can spend a year in a British boarding school by contacting the British American Education Foundation or spend a semester in Scotland attending the University of St. Andrews.

The following listing provides some information for some of the interim year programs that exist:

A.F.S. Intercultural Programs: For over 50 years, AFS has offered high school students and recent graduates a choice of full-year, semester or summer programs abroad. 1-800-AFS-INFO, 

Americorps: (800) 942-8993 web is a federally operated program combining a service project, with a stipend which may be used later for college.

Apprenticeship Programs: The website lists apprenticeship program sponsors recognized and registered by the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training or a State Registration Agency 202-693-3900, US Dept. of Labor, Prances Perkings Building, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20210 

City Year: (888) 424-8993 recruits 17 to 24 year olds for inner city services as tutoring, after school programs.

The Dynamy Internship Year: For over 30 years this one-year program has utilized an experiential education model of learning to engage recent high school graduates and college age students (ages 17 to 22) in connecting to the world around them. 508-755-2571, 

27 Sever Street, Worcester, MA 01609 

Earthwatch Institute: Promotes conservation of our natural resources. Puts people in the field where they assist scientists in their fieldwork. 1-800-776-0188, 3 Clock Tower Place, Suite 100, Box 75, Maynard, MA 01754, ( 

EF Gap Year: EF Gap Year's customizable international gap year programs allow students 18-22 to experience different parts of the world and build important life skills through language study, service learning, and an internship abroad. Through a balance of structured and independent exploration, students build confidence and independence, returning home with a clearer sense of their goals in life and the tools they need to pursue them. EF Education First, EF Center Boston, Two Education Circle, Cambridge, MA 02141. TeL: 617-619-2288

Global Quest: This a non-profit experiential study abroad program for students seeking travel experiences between high school and college. For details call (207) 879-1722. The website is: 

Habitat for Humanity: (781) 598-0310, North Shore Office, Lynn, MA 01904 ( 

National Outdoor Leadership School: (307) 332-5300 organizes expeditions of up to three months (tuition fees apply)  to various parts of the world. In some instances, college credit is awarded. 

Occupational Outlook Handbook: Put out by the US Department of Labor, this website lists career information which includes; nature of the work, working conditions, employment, training, job outlook, earnings, related occupations and sources of additional information.

Outward Bound: 888-88BOUND, Programs that develop character and challenges participants to perform tasks that are beyond perceived physical, mental and emotional limits enhancing one’s beliefs in one’s own capabilities. Adventure involves them in exciting experiences with uncertain outcomes and promotes the spirit of discovery and responsible risk taking. Develops many character traits and values 

Peace Corp: To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. 

People to People: 

The Samaritans: A Telephone Befriending Service in search of nonjudgmental listening and support people has a year long volunteer program which a student desiring an interim high school college experience may consider. 

Boston, MA (617) 536-2460 Framingham (508) 872-1780 

School for International Training: (SIT) Study Abroad’s worldwide, semester long programs help you build real-world skills and internationalize your academic experience through field-based learning. (800) 272-7881, Kipling Road, P.O. Box 676, Brattleboro, VT 05302, 

Travel Abroad: This site contains instructions on how to evaluate experiences before you “buy in” and also helps you by listing subject areas with internships 

VISTA Volunteer in Service to America: A one year commitment in a community to help restructure that community - offices in 50 states Malcolm Coles, 10 Causeway Street, Room 473, Boston, MA 02222-1038 (617) 565-7001

Useful Career Websites

Useful Career Websites 

Career Zone (short career videos)

Occupational Outlook Handbook


Vocational Opportunities

Vocational Opportunities


Where to get certificates, licenses and training locally 

Automotive Technology:

• Mass Bay Community College-Wellesley (781) 239-3000

• Quinsigamond Community College-Worcester (508) 853-2300

Computer Programming/Computer Systems Analysis

• Wentworth Institute of Technology-Boston (617) 442-9010 

Construction Trades:

• Bay State School of Technology-Canton (844) 800-6090

• North Bennet Street School-Boston (617) 227-0155

• Porter and Chester Institute-Canton (781) 830-0350

• RETS Technical Center – Charlestown (617) 580-4010

Cosmetic Services:

• Catherine Hines Institute of Esthetic-Woburn (781) 935-3344

• Elizabeth Grady-Medford (781) 960-0123

• New England Hair Academy-Malden (781) 324-6799

• North Shore Community College-Danvers (978) 762-4000

Culinary Arts and Related Services:

• Bunker Hill Community College-Boston (617) 228-2000

• Newbury College-Brookline (617) 730-7000

• North Shore Community College - Danvers (978) 762-4000

• The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (617) 354-2020 (


• B. Franklin Institute of Technology (617) 588-1368

• Mass Bay Community College-Wellesley (781) 239-3000

• North Shore Community College – Danvers (978) 762-4000

• Northern Essex Community College-Haverhill (978) 556-3000

Electrician/Electrical repair:

• B. Franklin Institute of Technology-Boston (617) 588-1368

• Bay State School of Technology-Canton (844) 800-6090

• North Bennet Street School-Boston (617) 227-0155

• Quinsigamond Community College-Worcester (508) 854-4262

• RETS Technical Center-Charlestown (617) 580-4010

Graphic/printing equipment operations:

• North Bennet Street School-Boston (617) 227-0155

• Northern Essex Community College-Haverhill, (978) 556-3000

Heating, Air conditioning and refrigeration

• Bay State School of Technology-Canton (844) 800-4010

• North Bennet Street School-Boston (617) 227-0155

• RETS Technical Center-Boston (617) 580-4010

Plumbing and Pipefitting

• Bay State School of Technology-Canton (844) 800-6090

• North Bennet Street School-Boston (617) 227-0155

RETS Technical Center-Boston (617) 580-4010

The Dover Sherborn Public Schools do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex/gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or homelessness.

  • Dover-Sherborn High School
  • 9 Junction Street, Dover, MA 02030
  • Phone (508) 785-1730
  • Fax (508) 785-8141
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