Getting through high school isn’t the
only goal for students—it’s preparing
for the pressures of first-year university.
“The most important factor affecting
student success in the university
environment is time-management,” says
George Vanderkuur, principal at Durham
Secondary Academy in Ajax, Ontario.
Between rigorous academic classes,
required extracurricular programs and
other social activities, private schools
encourage students to manage
responsibilities and plan their time well,
But teaching kids how to effectively
deal with their schedules is only part of
the solution. The enforcement of dress
codes, emphasis on punctuality, and
codes of deportment that characterize
the private school environment require
students to develop self-discipline.
What’s more, small classes and an
emphasis on community encourage
students to work together. This is
important, as Vanderkuur points out,
because “study groups are an essential
component of a successful university
experience, especially in the first year.”
In the end, private schools are able
to offer a lot more individual attention
than students will get at university.
But Vanderkuur says it’s all tied to
confidence and self-esteem, which
are essential because, “in the postsecondary
learning environment, the
emphasis is on problem-solving and
Equip students with a combination
of self-confidence and self-discipline
and they’ll be able to take first year
university—and anything else life throws
at them—in stride.