Beamsville, ON | Grades 9 - 12 | Shortlist
This is another way that, again, the small-school advantage helps. The guidance counsellor who helps the students through this process knows the students well and is able to provide really helpful guidance. I do not remember the guidance I was given, but if anything, I feel this is something that has improved a lot within the school. There is a lot of support for this process for students and a keen focus on providing students with what they need for advancement beyond their high school careers. Students have ample access, time and guidance for the process. Great Lakes is very focused on preparing students for university and does a very good job at the entire process - starting from the beginning of the high school career, right through.
The university placement system at Great Lakes is very individualized because of the small size of the school. I remember meeting with the guidance counselor and telling him that I was interested in Psychology. At the time, he made sure to explain to me that an undergraduate degree in Psychology does not often lead to meaningful job experiences and that graduate work would likely be necessary. I ended up pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology, so his advice was relevant to me! I had no difficulties with the application process for Ontario universities. I was accepted into all of the programs that I applied to and was offered competitive scholarships due to my academic background. I remember having presentations from other colleges or universities so that we could make informed decisions.
We pretty much had an idea of the kind progression we wanted for our daughter after high school. However, we discovered that the school left a bit too much for the student to sort out in the application process. While we are in support of giving the students the allowance to pursue the course and university of their choice, we believe they should be appropriately guided in the application process particularly the international students who may not be familiar with the Canadian university/college application and admission process. I had to make a specific appointment with the school's Guidance Counselor to clarify some areas in the application process for my daughter.
Personally, I feel as though enough support was given to the students in the application process in terms of the general application, and students were given a heads up on their application deadlines. However, there were no detailed instructions on how the students should apply, which is understandable since each student has their own program of interest and each program differs in their processes. The general advice was given to students, but after that, it was the students responsibility to sort the rest out. The guidance counselor was also available for questions that each individual student may have. In my daughter’s experience, she was able to apply early enough and received an admissions offer to her first-choice University program. Overall, although the application process was stressful, it went pretty smoothly.