j-1 visa

i recently got an offer from a company i am (/was?) extremely excited about working for, but they said they’re having difficulty with getting me a visa to work in the states (i’m canadian). the problem is that i took a year off after i finished my third year, and though i plan to return to school next september, i’m not registered as a student anymore. so that makes it difficult (/impossible?) for me to get j-1 status.

has anyone else dealt with this sort of situation before? are there any ways i can get around it? could i register for a distance education class or something?