Help your kids thrive in University
Miniversity Program (10-12)
Who is it for:
Qualified students in Grades 10-12.
- Unable to write well
- Unused to academic reading
- Time management
The Miniversity is The Westside School’s response to the needs of senior students who aspire to university studies.
We know from the constant cries of the university Presidents and Faculty that too many students arrive ill-equipped for the demands of university. They cannot write well; they are unused to academic reading; they cannot organize their time and so on. In short, their preparation has been focused on getting in to university, not on thriving there. So, armed with this knowledge, and with the mountains of research into learning recently brought to conclusion, we have introduced our unique Miniversity.
In the Miniversity, the year is arranged in blocks of 20 days each. In each block a student studies only one course. This allows the students and teacher to prepare and use the time without pressure from other requirements, for there are none.
Between each block is an interval of five days. This time is used for revision of previously completed courses, deep reading, participation in a symposium, and, when necessary, catching up on work missed through illness.
Provided the necessary pre-requisites are in place, a student is not limited to subjects at his/her grade level.
Subjects are available for study at Grade 10, 11, 12 and AP level, with MOOCs, studies accredited by reputable bodies (eg Cambridge International Examinations, Microsoft, Trinity College of Music etc.)
The Miniversity is equipped as a university learning centre. Each student has ample personal space and access to a variety of learning areas: there are several collaborative areas for discussion, debate and group work, several seminar rooms, a science laboratory, and a small cafeteria. Our excellent library is complemented by comprehensive online library of e-books, journals, and magazines is available, both for research and recreational reading.
Each student has a tutor who monitors progress, offers advice, liaises with colleagues and advocates as necessary. This is similar to the Oxford University tutorial model that works so well.
While the Miniversity operates for the traditional school year, it will also offer a fourth term in July and August for those who wish to accelerate their graduation, add courses, or repeat courses. The fourth term is not included in the annual fee.
Students in the MVP have considerable input into their programs, the number of courses they take, and the methods they use to demonstrate their learning. They take responsibility for their studies and for meeting all due dates for assignments.
In addition to regular studies, students organize and participate in quarterly symposiums on important topics of particular interest to them. Guests are invited to participate on these occasions.
In short, The Westside Miniversity is a visionary departure from the usual senior high school, responding in action to recent research about learning, the current situation in university education, the increasing autonomy needs of the older adolescent, and the need to free teachers to teach deeply and use all available local resources without constraint.
Upon Graduation, students receive the BC Graduation Diploma (The Dogwood), and The Westside Diploma that attests to many important attributes not recognized by the Dogwood.