Planning for post-secondary education can be a stressful time for students, especially when they have to fit researching and working on their applications into their already full schedules.
Having a resource that is solely dedicated to helping them reach their post-secondary goals can be a huge relief and a much-needed source of guidance for students.
At Alice Smith, our Higher Education (HE) Programme helps guide our students towards their future aspirations and works hard to help them get into their ‘right fit’ university.
To better understand the importance of a school providing their students with a programme like this, we spoke with Joe Marshall, Head of our Higher Education Programme, to discuss the benefits of having a Higher Education Programme for Secondary and Sixth Form students.
The Higher Education Programme at Alice Smith and how it Benefits Students
With so many fantastic learning opportunities available to our students, it can be difficult to sort through them all to find the ones that are right for them.
At Alice Smith, our professional HE Programme is embedded directly into the curriculum for all our Secondary and Sixth Form students. The intent of this programme is to help our students with post-secondary applications and everything that comes with this stressful time, including researching, essay writing, interview skills, just to name a few. Ultimately, the HE Programme not only helps our students discover their ‘right fit’ university, it also helps them receive the letter of acceptance. Our Programme is the benchmark in the international education system to which other schools use as a model for success.
Our HE Programme is just one part of our mission to help our students succeed. Click here to discover more programmes that support the development of the whole child such as the Pastoral Care initiative.
1. Students Make an Informed Decision
Knowledge is power, and when it comes to making a decision that will impact your children's future, having as much information as possible will help them make an informed decision.
“You still get students who come in knowing what they want to do, but it’s important to teach them about the necessary pathways and the different types of careers out there,” said Marshall.
Our team of experienced staff provides students with the information they need to make the decision that is best for them. They do so by first speaking and counselling the student to discover their goals and future aspirations and then guide them through the necessary steps to get there.
This eye-opening experience helps our students realise all the options available to them.
“Sometimes the most seemingly obvious choice isn't the right one, so we do look around with the students, we do discuss things and work to try and find this ‘best fit’,” he said.
Our Higher Education Programme begins with us supporting our students to select their A Level programmes. To find out how to prepare and apply for A Levels, click here.
2. Access to Experienced Staff
Staffed by a team of three dedicated team members, our HE Programme allots the necessary time to discuss a students’ options and ultimately complete their applications.
According to Marshall, most schools have some form of guidance programme in place, but they are usually unofficial and teacher-led. This means that, though they likely have the best of intentions, these teachers cannot dedicate the time required to help each student in the way they need. Additionally, without a structure or any metrics of success, it can be difficult to track the effectiveness of such programmes.
Our students meet with Programme leaders anywhere from five to 20 times throughout the application process, depending on the complexity of their chosen application or the personal counselling they require to guide them through their chosen path.
Thanks to having a dedicated team, students are able to meet with staff whenever they need. And according to Marshall, though it can be hard work, watching students find the post-secondary institution that is right for them is a truly rewarding experience.
3. Proven to Increase Acceptance Rate at International Universities
According to Marshall, after the implementation of the HE Programme, student acceptance into renowned universities drastically increased.
This is because the application processes for these schools are time-intensive, some students were unaware of where to even begin with the application requirements and students thought these institutions were out of their reach.
Students at Alice Smith have gone on to top tier universities around the world. Click here to discover where our graduates attend school and what their academic results were before they left our school.
After implementing the HE Programme, the acceptance rate at international communities, including Yale University and Harvard University, has greatly increased.
“We’re able to hit those hard targets no problem and that’s just absolute dedication to every aspect of the application; we’re also able to send extensive follow-up information, something which would never have happened in the past,” said Marshall.
4. Supports Students in Realising Their Goals
Our HE Programme not only provides your children with the guidance they need to earn necessary requirements and complete complex application processes, it’s also a source of support for our students, be that academic or emotional.
This encouraging nature will help bring out the best in your children.
“We help our students recognise they need to follow where their strengths lie,” Marshall said, whether that be in course selection, university destinations or future aspirations.
Our programme also connects our students with alumni, who provide them with guidance based on their own experiences in post-secondary education and beyond. Marshall noted career pathways are not as linear as they once were, and having that message come from people who have been in our students’ shoes is priceless.
“Particularly out there in a competitive environment, this is such a valuable opportunity,” he said.