You can travel with us AND earn College Credits to go towards further study

If you are someone who is looking for a constructive travel experience, perhaps to reflect on what you want to study or take some time to refresh after exams before launching into more education, a gap year is the perfect option.

As an Internationally Accredited Gap Year Provider through the Gap Year Association, we have met a number of stringent safety and travel standards to ensure our programs are safe, structured, educational and inspirational adventures for young people looking to gain confidence, learn more about global citizenship and explore our world. Our programs are a structured syllabus with clear learning outcomes that offer true personal growth and global awareness. As a reputable gap year provider since 2001, we have developed strong industry connections, including two educational institutions which we offer college credits through for our programs.

Academic credit is optional for our students, but for those who choose it, an integral component of their program.

Who do we partner with for academic credits?

Pacific Discovery partners with two educational institutions, Portland State University (PSU) and Seattle Central College (SCC).

Both are recognised educational providers who offer exceptional study options for students. We have been running college credit options for students for a number of years now with these providers, and as long as requirements are completed, the system has been an excellent option for students in regards to continuation of study, deferment and easy transfer to other institutions.

Each offer programs that may suit your personal requirements, or perhaps more importantly the requirements of your chosen institution for further study. I.e. if you are hoping to go on and study a Bachelor of Economics, you might find that certain papers from one of the providers is preferred over the others. It is very important where possible to check ahead to see if the credits can transfer (more on this below).

Please note that Seattle Central College is the only option for those looking to gain credits from our Summer Programs.

We have more detailed information pages (linked below) to each of our providers to help you understand exactly how it all works. We are also here to help answer any questions whenever you require.

To learn more about how to gain credits through Portland State University, click here.

To learn more about how to gain credits through Seattle Central College, click here.

To discuss this further with the Pacific Discovery Admissions Director, click here.

How does it work if I want to transfer these credits to another Institution?

We highly recommend that if you are planning on gaining college credits with us, that where possible you proactively contact the institution or University you intend to then go on to study with and check that the credits will be recognised for your area of study. These credits are highly regarded throughout the US and generally well received. In an ideal world, students will take the GYA course credit title (eg. ANTH 103) and ask for “pre-approval equivalency” from their receiving institution. At many smaller institutions these equivalencies may not yet be in place, making it extra important for the student to drive the process themselves, a process that would typically happen through the registrar’s office. If students get a challenge, they can always encourage the receiving institution to call the Education Abroad office at Portland State University to learn more about the credit system available.

Even college credits from Institutions such as Harvard can be questioned by receiving institutions, as a variety of complexities affect their relevance – such as similar learning outcomes. Many institutions are creating
online tools to search for course equivalencies based on what has been successfully equated and transferred in the past, keep an eye out for these useful tools!

Credits transferred towards General Education Requirements can be less helpful than those as counting towards a major, however, all courses that are transferred count towards a student’s diploma and may be listed as equivalent…everything from an equivalent first- or second-year college course, to an A/P equivalence, to an IB course, to a dual/joint-enrolled program, and more.

Most important to note, is that the responsibility on completing requirements to qualify lies with the student, not Pacific Discovery. So its super important to understand the steps you need to take to ensure you gain your credits.  

Independent or Field Studies Credit through your own college or university

If you are interested in pursuing Independent or Field Studies Credit through your own college or university, we do support this. The best course of action is to contact your own academic advisor or professor to discuss options available and take their lead on what would suit you best on our programs.

Want to learn more? Click here to get in touch with our Admissions Director

Can I use my 529 account towards the college credit and tuition?

Yes, you can! If you are enrolled in a semester program and take a full semesters worth of college credit, you are eligible to use your 529 account for the $1700 PSU fee as well as your entire program tuition!