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Preparing Your Students For Higher Education
  • University

This blog is from one of COBIS' Supporting Associates

Written by Antoine Airoldi, Digital Communications & Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Officer, Bishop's University

Preparing for university can be quite the task. Anywhere from helping your students choose their place of study to helping them submit their transcripts, either locally or internationally, is life-changing for all that are involved. It is the decision that will shape the rest of their lives.

As you and your students prepare for this next chapter, it is important to know that you have done all that you possibly could. While you may have been their primary mentor throughout the years, it is now time to watch them transition and become undergraduate students.

Before doing so, it is important to best prepare your students for their application. Here are a few answers to your most-frequently asked questions about the Canadian university application process, that might assist your students in getting accepted to their university of choice.

The Application Process

What Can Schools Do to Prepare Students For Their Application to a Canadian University?

Schools can prepare their students for their application by informing them about the competitive nature of applying to any given university. For example, as with many universities across Canada and the globe, Bishop’s University receives more applications than spaces available.

Unfortunately, universities cannot accept every applicant. With that being said, applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements may be considered on an individual basis, which is more of a holistic approach. In those and other cases, the Admissions Office may request additional information to what is listed on the application.

It is important to note that your students must send a copy of their latest transcript, along with supplemental information (i.e. personal statement, letters of recommendation, standardised test scores, etc.). While this supplemental information is not a requirement for all applicants, it would be considered if submitted as part of the application package. This is usually best practice when it comes to the application process, regardless of the university of choice.

What Do Universities Look For When Considering Applications?

Most universities consider applications differently so it is best to check with each institution of interest. Given the nature of the topic, for British International Schools, Bishop’s University recognizes the British-Patterned curriculum (A-Levels and GCSEs). Minimum requirements for consideration are: Five GSCEs and three A-Level examinations. A minimum of five GCSEs with no grade below “5” or “C”, and three A-Levels with a minimum B/B/C score are required. BTEC applications will be considered on an individual basis. Making sure that your students have this information is essential to the application process. It is best to inform them about this as early on in the process, so they can be competitive for their program of choice.

What Makes a Strong Application?

While high grades, test scores, great personal statements, great letters of recommendations, and all of your students’ supporting documents may help them get into their university of choice, not all universities operate this way.

When it comes to a strong application, it is important to note that not all students are the same. Students are not treated as numbers. Students that have faced difficulties in the past or extenuating circumstances still come with great potential. They are worthy of attending an undergraduate institution as long as they are evaluated accordingly.

While Bishop’s University does have a robust application process, we don’t discredit all that fail to meet its specific requirements. While we cannot speak for all universities, Bishop’s has a holistic approach to accepting applicants if they don’t meet all of the requirements.

In order to better understand that specific student journey during the application process, Bishop’s University will reach out to better understand their given situation. The same can be said about those that didn’t do so well with their test scores but may have had mental health issues or experienced a traumatic event. It is important to note we prioritise both mental health and academics on an equal footing.

It is best to communicate directly with their university of choice to better understand the entire process before submitting an application. Furthermore, it is best to also look at university websites to meet the application deadlines which are typically later than UCAS or USA institutional deadlines.

Leadership Development

How is Bishop’s University helping its students become better leaders?

Bishop’s University helps their students gain practical knowledge and experience from practicums during the academic year, helping them gain career insights beyond the classroom. Ensuring they become great leaders, we give students many options to learn beyond the classroom. The B.E.S.T opportunity fund or the Tomlinson Internships are perfect examples of helping students become better leaders.

The B.E.S.T opportunity fund came to fruition in 2010 by a fellow alumnus that wishes to remain anonymous. The B.E.S.T opportunity arose due to a strong belief in the University and with a desire to help promising students achieve their full potential. The B.E.S.T Project Fund is the premiere experiential learning opportunity at Bishop’s. This unique fund is intended to assist students to determine their career paths and realize their ambitions. The funds are awarded to students whom the Selection Committee believes have the potential for significant achievement and impact once they graduate from Bishop’s.

A Tomlinson Internship provides students practical experience opportunities related to their academic program while earning money to offset their educational costs. $20,000 is available each year to fund a few interns. Directors, Managers, Coordinators or Department Chairs may apply for internships when the call for applications is sent each April from the Student Affairs Office. Students then apply for these positions. For more information, please visit the Tomlinson Internship Program website.

How does Bishop’s University teach social responsibility beyond its own course curriculums?

Bishop’s offers a unique learning environment by offering students a liberal education model. It is best defined as an educational philosophy, one that exposes students to a variety of disciplines and learning strategies and includes in-depth studies in at least one academic area with the ability to integrate other disciplines no matter how diverse. This style of education encourages students to ask questions, to consider all angles, to be excited by the pursuit of knowledge, to be confident in their abilities, and to become inspired through their academic experience.

Our students make their way from learning and applying critical thinking to not only excel at their careers but to also better humanity. Social responsibility is taught in small-sized classrooms as well as clubs that students build together, in our sports teams, and in the borough of Lennoxville (as a collective).

Bishop’s welcomes all those seeking an undergraduate experience like no other. It’s time to invite your students to contact us at any time as we raise a toast to our Bleed Purple community. We are your home away from home, Bishop’s University.

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