How AIS Prepares Students for Their Future
At AIS, the journey towards achieving secondary and post-secondary goals begins in early childhood. Below is an overview of just some of the many ways that students engage with career guidance and university planning at AIS.
The AIS Guidance Curriculum is based on the International School Counseling Model (ISCM), which focuses on four domains: academic, personal, global, and university/career counseling. This model, along with AIS’s Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRs), provides a framework designed to develop 21st century skills and competencies that prepare students for success in their future endeavors.
- Second Step Curriculum
- Identify their Strengths and Interests
- Problem Solving and Working in Groups
- Develop Career Awareness
- Engage in Literacy and STEAM Week
- Transition to Middle School Activities (Grade 4)
- Advisory Curriculum
- Career Week
- Transition to High School Activities (Grade 8)
- MaiaLearning (Grade 8)
- Interest Inventories
- Personality Tests
- Four-Year Planning and Course Requesting (Grade 8)
- Advisory Curriculum
- Family Webinars
- Interest inventories
- Personality Tests
- Resume building
- University planning and tasks
- Four-Year Planning and Course Requesting
- Post-Secondary Student Led Conferencing (Grade 11)
- Personalized university guidance
- Virtual University Fairs and Visits
- Infinity Week
- Transition Curriculum and Planning (Grade 12)
In Elementary School (ES) career guidance begins by supporting our youngest students to identify their strengths and interests through our socio-emotional curriculum, Second Step. The program is taught in Early Childhood to Grade 4 classrooms under the leadership of the Elementary School Counselor. Special events, such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) week provide opportunities to learn about professional pathways, hear from guest speakers and engage with activities to spark their curiosity about various careers.
Middle School students engage in guidance curriculum every day during advisory for a 35-minute block. The lessons are facilitated by the advisory teacher under the leadership of the Middle School Counselor. Together, they create a yearly plan based on the needs of their respective year group.
As a part of preparing Middle School students to think about their future, students participate in Career Week, during which AIS alumni and professionals within the greater community speak with students about their career. Career guidance curriculum leading up to the event occurs within the advisory to support students to reflect on strengths, interests and to understand what influences career pathway choices.
Starting in Grade 8, students and families have access to MaiaLearning, the career and university guidance platform used by AIS. Students use MaiaLearning to take personality tests and interest inventories that help identify possible careers that match their strengths and interests. As grade 8 students move towards High School, transition activities such as course requesting and four-year planning are supported by the Middle and HIgh School Counselor. Lessons about commonly used High School academic terms, High School requirements and the similarities and differences between Middle and High School are discussed.
In the High School program, career and university guidance occurs throughout the year within the advisory curriculum. Curriculum is disseminated by advisory teachers and coordinated by the High School Counselor. Students and families have access to MaiaLearning, the career and university guidance platform used by AIS. Students engage with Maia Learning through personality tests, interest inventories, career exploration, resume building and university research. The platform holds specific acceptance and matriculation data for AIS students. This invaluable tool informs students as they research university options and build an appropriate fit university list.
In October each year, High School students engage in College Prep Day, which involves engaging in the AIS MaiaLearning Virtual University Fair. The fair is annually attended by university representatives from across the globe who seek to share information about their institution and connect with AIS students. We invite you to read our College Prep Day 2021 blog post to learn more about how AIS supports students to plan for their future. In addition to the AIS MaiaLearning Virtual University Fair, Grade 9, 10 and 11 students take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), while Grade 12 students spend the afternoon in focused university prep workshops.
PSAT results are reviewed with students and families in January and provide invaluable feedback about strengths and areas for growth. A Recommended Standardized Testing Timeline is shared with students and families so they can plan ahead and create a plan that meets their individual needs.
Starting in January, students are supported to think about their future through the course request process and four-year planning. Students conference with teachers and counselors to select best fit courses that meet their academic interests and future goals.
In the Spring, Grade 11 students begin completing specific university application tasks in MaiaLearning and prepare for their Post-Secondary Presentations. The purpose of the post-secondary presentations is to make an action plan in preparation for life after High School and to research the steps that need to be taken before applying to university. The student-led post-secondary presentations are shared by students through a formal presentation to their parents and High School Counselor. This is an opportunity for students and families to share their plans and for students to receive guidance, feedback and tasks from the High School Counselor to do before students apply to universities later in Fall.
Starting in the Fall, Grade 12 students begin the university application process. The curriculum leading up to grade 12 and university specific tasks completed in Grade 11 help prepare them for this moment. Students participate in one-on-one meetings with the High School Counselor who helps guide students to select best-fit universities, understand and complete the application process and support essay writing. Once applications are submitted, students are supported to follow up on document submission, decision making and transition planning. To support students transition to university, starting in the Spring, senior advisory time focuses on transition planning and learning about important life skills for university and beyond. In the life skills lessons students explore topics such as financial budgeting, finding student housing, learning interpersonal skills while living in a college dormitory, and how to interview for and find a job.
Throughout the year, families are invited to join the monthly Family Webinars that focus on how to support your child’s success at AIS and beyond.
These webinars are a wonderful opportunity to connect with other AIS parents as well as members of the Divisional Student Support Team. Topics such as curriculum students are engaging with to prepare them for their future, suggestions on how to support your child and resources to nurture your child’s development are just a few of the many topics covered.
There are many ways to stay connected with and support your child’s journey towards graduation and achieving their post-secondary goals. Please check your AIS email regularly for:
- Weekly Head of School communications;
- Weekly Principal updates;
- Monthly Counselor Corner newsletters;
- Invitations to monthly family webinars; and,
- Invitations to Parent Teacher Conferences that occur twice annually. Families are encouraged to meet with your child’s teachers and Divisional Counselor.
Additional ways families can stay connected are: