Blog

The Value of Armbrae's University Guidance Counselling
smorrison


Being a parent of an Armbrae graduate and spending the last two years as Marketing and Recruitment Manager, I think I have a pretty good idea of what the strengths of an Armbrae education are.

One that I think is vitally important is having a dedicated university guidance counsellor. Armbrae is a university preparatory school and therefore faculty in our senior school dedicate their time to ensuring students have the study skills, academic knowledge, and compass of mind to go on to further studies. Above and beyond that we have Ally Read, Director of University Guidance, who starts having conversations with our students about their interests, goals and their plans for after graduation. This starts as early as Grade 8, where it is subtle and suited to their age and level of development, but it gets students thinking early about their options and potential to both define and attain success on their own terms.

As students approach high school they may shrug their shoulders to mom and dad about their future plans but Ms. Read has a way with students that encourages them to think outside the box and explore their passions. The Armbrae value proposition is to start thinking early, get to know the student, evaluate their interests and assess what courses are exciting to them and which they excel in. After several years of informal conversations, meetings, interest assessments, and other guided activities, Ally starts the process helping them form a plan for applying to several carefully selected institutions. Sometimes this includes GAP year programs, colleges, and/or universities in the US or UK - all post-secondary options are important for students to consider. After thoughtful preparation students shouldn't incur any surprises when applying to universities. Deadlines are discussed, scholarship opportunities announced and posted, and students start to see the preparation was well worth it. Over the past ten years, Armbrae graduates have been accepted to 98% of the post-secondary institutions they have applied to, with 100% being accepted to their top choice university in that time. Their hard work and preparation have been worth it.

On a personal note, Ally told my son about a university in BC called Quest; she saw him as a critical thinker who would enjoy this relatively new, unique liberal arts university. I wasn't sure. As he enters his third year, he recently told me that today he feels it wasn't so much that he found Quest, but that Quest has found him. We owe so much to Ally for knowing what Hogan needed in a post-secondary education. This is one of the amazing features of an Armbrae education.