1. What is the difference between the Enhanced Learning Program (ELP) and Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate (IB)?
The Enhanced Learning Program is designed to match the learning needs of Gifted Learners. Students are enrolled into Ontario secondary courses but in classes that are fully comprised of like-minded individuals. As such, we explore the concepts and topics of a given course at much greater depth and breadth typically extending beyond the overall expectations.
Both the AP and IB programs are standardized programs that are set with the aim of completing year-end exams. Students in those programs are confined to a rigid course selection process to ensure that the topics are covered in preparation for these exams.
This standardization is the antithesis of what the research tells us to do with Gifted Learners (Tomlinson, 2001).
Furthermore, the level of creativity is limited in these programs, as some Gifted Learners like to put their interpretation/spin/angle on an assignment. As soon as their ideas go 'outside the designated box' it is not marked on a level playing field since it is no longer standardized.
2. What are the rates of acceptance into university programs?
Approximately 95% of our graduates are accepted into their first choice of university program with 80 – 90% of those earning a scholarship. Overall, 99.5% of our graduates are accepted into post-secondary programs. Most of our students' choices are competitive programs such as Ivy-League schools (M.I.T., Harvard, Columbia, etc.), elite business programs (Shulich, Rotman, Ivey), and rigorous science and engineering programs (e.g. Waterloo Engineering, McMaster Health Sciences, etc.).
3. How do students from the Enhanced Learning Program gain acceptance into competitive programs?
Competitive programs require both a high level of academic achievement as well as top rankings in extra-curricular that clearly demonstrates their leadership, commitment, and a varied experiential background.
Students in the ELP earn standard Ontario secondary credits and are evaluated accordingly. Specifically, we strive to evaluate a student's mark based on curricular expectations. As the lessons are devised at a much deeper level allowing for more practice in sophisticated techniques, enhanced students usually achieve at a much higher level than students taking a standard course. Consequently, the resulting marks are more than sufficient to gain acceptance into rigorous programs at the post-secondary level.
Secondly, we offer numerous extra-curricular opportunities that allow students the opportunity to develop themselves in terms of leadership, organization, communication, creativity, athleticism, and analytically. There are no bounds as to the types of clubs and teams that we run, with many clubs being largely student driven and organized. This allows our students to complement their strong academic achievement with an even stronger supplemental application.
Lastly, each student is assigned a mentor teacher from the Enhanced Learning department who will work individually with them throughout their entire stay at the Woodlands. As part of the mentoring process, we work to support our students to develop strong applications by connecting them with opportunities that highlight and optimize their strengths. In developing our students as whole individuals, they often gain advantages that both gain them acceptance into any program that they choose but also allows for continued success as they move forward.
4. Find out more about Gifted Students opportunities in Peel and Ontario.
The Association of Bright Children is an excellent resource. They can be reached at: [email protected]