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Does High School Prepare You For College/University Life?

For the majority of Canadian families, continuing education beyond high school is a no-brainer. According to a 2016 census, more than half of Canadians aged 25 to 64 have a post-secondary degree. With a better career and income prospect in mind, each year thousands of high school graduates enter colleges and universities across the country, only to find out that they are not well prepared to survive their first-year courses. 20 to 50 percent of university students drop out of the program they fought so hard to get into during their last year of high school. Here is what one McGill Student had to say.

“I feel like I cheated my way into McGill having never put any work into school in high school. Now everyone is working and I feel like I’m slowly falling behind and if I don’t get a high enough grade point average, my year at McGill ends in December because my parents will stop paying.”

With intense competition to enter top programs such as engineering, business and medical science at prestigious colleges and universities, students and parents have gradually shifted their focus from learning into earning grades. Important learning skills and work habits such as active listening and note taking, goal setting and time management, effective and timely communication, independent reading and learning are often forgotten in the process of graduating from high school and entering a post-secondary institution. Yet, these are the soft skills needed to survive the challenging first year of post-secondary life. Without these skills, most students find themselves overwhelmed by the course load and stressed out about their future prospect.

In the past decade, the Ministry of Education has tried to implement the policies of Growing Success across Ontario Schools; a policy document published in 2010 aiming to guide students towards becoming more independent learners with well-established learning skills and work habits.

At BrightMinds Online School, particular attention has been paid to the implementation of the Growing Success policies. Each course is designed to not only teach students the academic knowledge mandated by the Secondary Curriculum document but to also support students in the development of important life skills such as time management, effective communication, goal setting, and problem-solving. How have we achieved this?

  • At BrightMinds Online School, our semesters are shorter in length (11 weeks of instruction + 1 week of examination) mimicking that of colleges and universities. Taking an online course gives high school students, especially those from non-semesters schools, a real opportunity to practice better time management skills.
  • At BrightMinds Online School, all Grade 9 to 12 courses are designed and delivered lecture style. This gives our students ample opportunity to practice their active listening and note-taking skills.
  • Like colleges and universities, our semesters have a clear start and end date. We give our students a tentative study schedule and the freedom to customize that schedule further by setting their unique academic goals.
  • Our assessments and evaluation strategies are designed with less memorization, more application, thinking and communication in mind. We encourage our students to focus on in-depth learning and reflecting on their growth rather than stressing about their grade.

At BrightMinds Online School, we believe that education is more than earning a degree; it is about learning and practicing the skills needed to thrive in life.

Contact us today to learn more about our online program.

Resources Used in Writing this Article: