Map The Gap

Map the Gap Pilot Program Overview

Engage high school graduates taking a “gap year” to build career and life skills, introduce them to industry/career opportunities and match positions with higher education requirements.  Better prepare them for post-secondary study by providing exposure to campus life and individualized guidance for college affordability.  Offer job shadowing at a variety of local companies to increase their exposure to a vast array of industries, departments and positions within those departments. Provide a guided pathway towards making their next major life decision that aligns with their passions and skills.  Help retain them in our region by connecting them with local mentors and company professionals to increase their exposure and admissions to IUSB and their ability to connect to local companies  that have positions to fill. Each graduate of the program will leave with a 1- and 5-year detailed plan along with connections to resources required for them to reach those goals.

With industry and community leaders, create a year-long program of monthly interactions – training, job shadowing, mentor guidance, and on-campus events that would allow students to work full-time (or do whatever else they were planning) but keep them engaged in thinking about their future. Industry and community leaders would have the opportunity to become partners by doing one or more of the following: providing funding to help underwrite the program, host tours, become mentors and/or provide job shadowing opportunities on-site. The program would be offered free or at low cost to local high school graduates. As the program expands, it might be a good fit for IUSB students who stop out after their first year as a way to help guide their future decisions.

This program is an excellent way for IU South Bend to engage with local employers, K-12, community organizations, and community leaders by providing a program that directly connects young talent with local opportunities, resources, as well as a variety of options to consider. In return, the Map the Gap program gives employers an intentional and structured way to interface with the high school graduate pipeline of future workers and provides a meaningful connection between local professionals and youth through the steady stream of mentorship connections. Ivy Tech is an industry partner to the program and students whose best choice is to start there, will have the opportunity to tour their campus and meet with financial aid and admissions.

Pilot Program Launch Date: September 9, 2023. Program runs through May 2024.

Target Participant: We are currently interviewing recent high school graduates (May 2022 or 2023) that are between the ages of 18-20. We would like a minimum of 12-20 participants from Elkhart and St. Joseph County to participate this year.  The ultimate goal is to procure a diverse group of students who are committed to attending the planned activities and providing their feedback throughout the pilot year (9-months).  

If you would like additional information about becoming a Map the Gap Mentor, Participant or Industry Partner, please complete the interest form below. We will reach out to schedule time to discuss how we can work together on this new and innovative program!

Indiana University South Bend

1700 Mishawaka Ave
South Bend, IN 46615
Phone: 574-520-4872