April 2, 2015 (Boulder, CO) – Naropa University President Charles G. Lief and Sam Bull, Executive Director of LEAPNOW, today announced a mutually reinforcing partnership that will offer unique & innovative educational opportunities for students entering college. Naropa is designated as a “College of Distinction” for its achievements in student-focused higher education.
Through Naropa, LEAPNOW offers an alternative first year of college called “LEAPYEAR,” that brings together the best of international experiential learning with a program of contemplative study to prepare students to make the best use of their college careers. The program was created in 2001 by a former Naropa employee and a Naropa alumnus. Under the terms of the partnership, LEAPNOW students will enroll in and receive credits from Naropa University. The LEAPNOW partnership radically extends the reach of the Naropa curriculum into nearly 125 countries around the world, including India, Nepal, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
“Naropa’s partnership with LEAPNOW is tailor-made for today’s students who elect to start their higher education experience in this highly experiential, skillfully planned way,” said Charles G. Lief, President of Naropa University. “Our partnership offers a unique, credit-earning option that will enable students to begin their college journey with great purpose and clarity.”
"LEAPNOW’s purpose is to offer transformational programs that prepare young adults for the challenges of taking advantage of a college education,” according to Sam Bull, LEAPNOW's Executive Director. “This partnership will offer young adults a transitional period of mentored, real-life learning in the U.S. and abroad to learn about their world, and put their lives and education into a meaningful personal context.”
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About Naropa University (www.naropa.edu): Located in Boulder, Colorado, Naropa University is a private liberal arts institution offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2014-15, Naropa University is a recognized leader in contemplative education, an approach to learning and teaching that integrates Eastern wisdom studies with traditional Western scholarship. Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
About LEAPNOW (www.leapnow.org): LEAPNOW was founded in 1994 by Sam and Cassie Bull. With roots in the gap year movement, LEAPNOW has been a pioneer in the process of integrating international exploration with academic credit, rites of passage, and an explicit focus on the inner journey - working to serve a need in the development of young adults that is rarely met through traditional schooling. To date, LEAPNOW has run 23 cycles of its flagship LEAPYEAR program, which brings together guided group travel, a 3-month international internship, and contemplative retreats to develop the whole human being.