UMCA RICH TREE ACADEMY announces the schedule for the "UMCA Winter Showcase 2017". Your attendance is extremely important for our students' motivation and success.
November 22- English Winter Showcase Gr. 3 and 4 @ 4:00 pm
November 23- English Winter Showcase Gr. 1 and 2 @ 10:00 am
November 29- Russian Winter Showcase Gr. 4, 5, and 6 @ 3:00pm
Please save the date and be part of this magical season performance!
Please check the following links as they will lead you to important information about scholarships:
https://scholarships.rbc.com/Overview.aspx (not yet updated for this year)
Each University has a separate scholarship page
Links to many university scholarships
For Grade 12 students the time is now to choose the universities to which you want to apply. This means that you must begin seriously researching what these universities want from you in their application packages.. Indeed, many students have already started to work on these applications over the summer. The reasons for starting now are numerous as I will explain in this overview.
Parents of Grade 11 students should also begin preparing now. Waiting until next year is a mistake. Resumes can only be improved from now until next January.
The process involves a large time commitment that includes:
►Committing to extra volunteer hours (this should be done prior to grade 12 year if possible)
►Researching which University has the best program for your field of study and future plans
►Writing several essays and detailed short answer questions for each application
►Updating (or writing) a resume
►Completing Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC) forms
►Collecting reference letters ASAP
Throughout the process students can expect to spend up to 20 hours researching, thinking, writing, rewriting and tailoring just one essay to impress those on the admittance committees of the institutions they hope to attend. What this means is that if your teenager wants to apply to 5 different Universities that this work can easily total 100 hours. Indeed, those who have received scholarships and entrance into the top Universities (including Ivy League Universities) credit their entrance essays as the most important factor in their being granted admittance.
Another important piece of information to consider is there are too many students across Canada applying to Universities with averages in the upper 80's and 90's. The problem is that these students cannot all be allowed to enter into the best University Programs, as space is limited. In the minds of University administrators these high marks can partially be explained by a well recognized 20% variation in how students are marked within different schools and by different teachers. Additionally, they are also well aware of the pressure exerted by students and parents to award higher marks to students in Grade 12 in order to assist them in gaining entrance into top universities.
To eliminate students from their acceptance lists, more and more Universities and University Programs (including Business, Math, Science, Architecture and Engineering departments) are requesting increasingly demanding entrance packages.. These packages often include essays, a resume and critical reflections of past volunteer work and job experience. Ultimately, what this means is that when it comes to choosing between two students with high marks, the one whose essays and application package is superior will be chosen. Thus, when students' marks are high to begin with, thoughtful, well-conceived essays, and application packages coupled by fantastic references can substantially increase the chances of a student being admitted.
Keep in mind - Those who have high marks, but an inferior entrance package can and do rank lower than students with an outstanding application package and lower marks.
Other Important factors to remember
- Many of the skills required for University entrance essays are very different from what you have learned in school.
- University entrance criteria include questions which combine, narrative, analytic,
- You need to provide insight into your character, past learning, future plans and goals while substantiating your research skills within your application.
- Before beginning your writing, be sure that you are choosing the university with the most appropriate program for your marks, skills and experience.
- Make sure that you understand precisely what each University offers, and what they expect from you in regards to your application package
- Be prepared to spend many hours researching before you begin to write.
University Application Essay Writing
► explanation of different types of application essays
Constructing a Resume
► organization of experience, using proper descriptors, layout
Describing your volunteer and work experience
► matching job and volunteer experience to the criteria of the programs to which you apply Researching what you need to know to write a large variety of application essays
Choosing the best University program(s) for your future
How important is the admission essay?
If applicants appear equal in terms of their marks and experience, a well-written essay will be the difference between being admitted or not admitted.. Also, if there are scholarships involved, essays become even more important.
A great essay can also help students gain entry into a University if their marks are not as high as other applicants to the University and/or who do not have a lot of extra curricular experience.
At Waterloo, Queens, Western & University of Toronto your essays and application package can increase your entire average 5%, often the difference between being granted entry and being rejected. A student who scores highly on their application package will almost always be chosen over someone with a higher average but a weak application package. The application essays and questions are designed to see who will be succesful in university, and are often a better indicator for admissions committees than high marks.
Some Application Package Examples
The following examples are only just a few. Many universities now require applications that include an extensive application package. To find out if your child's program asks for supplementary applications, go directly to the university website. Often these websites are confusing, so if you don't find what you are looking for, contact the registrar of the university by email. Most will get back to you within 2 days.
Example from Queen's University
We want to hear your individual voice in your writing. Write essays that reflect who you are; use specific concrete details and write in a natural style. Begin work on these essays early, and feel free to ask your parents, teachers and friends to provide constructive feedback. Ask if the essay's tone sounds like your voice. If those closest to you do not believe your essay captures who you are, we will not be able to recognize what is distinctive about you. While asking for feedback is suggested, do not enlist hired assistance in the writing of your essays.
You're a leader in your school or community. You might be an athlete, an actor, or hold a part-time job, and you're definitely a strong student.
If you just read that and thought, "Hey! That's me!" you might also be a Queen's student. At Queen's we want to know all the things about you that make you unique. That's why, as part of the application process, we want you to submit a Personal Statement of Experience (PSE) and an additional Supplementary Essay† so that you can tell us what your marks don't.
We're looking for:
Undergraduate admission at Queen's is very competitive and we use the PSE and Supplementary Essayalong with your academic record, to make admission decisions ‡. The PSE is a mandatory document for every undergraduate program. That means you HAVE to fill it out and submit it. The Supplementary Essay† is required for some programs (see below for details) and must be submitted at the same time you submit your PSE. Both of these must be submitted using our online student self-service system. We will send you the link after you apply.
The PSE and Supplementary Essay† will be evaluated based on:
Application Essay Question Examples
Some application packages (particularly those for business programs) ask students to write 4 or 5 essays, answer many short questions, and conduct an online interview.
1) Describe your involvement in a school or community activity in which you made a positive contribution. What did you accomplish, and in what way was this meaningful to you? (400 words or less)
2) Choose one extracurricular activity or one employment opportunity you have listed on your Personal Statement of Experience. In 300 words, or fewer, describe the impact of this experience and the greatest learning outcome for you. Your answer will be evaluated for content and writing style.
3) Leadership Question: Drawing from your personal experiences, tell us what leadership means to you. Describe an experience where you called upon your qualities of leadership, explaining what attributes you contributed toward achieving a desired outcome. What did you learn from this experience? (400 words or less)
Waterloo - Admission Information Form (A.I.F.) - Queens (PSE) - McMaster Supplementary
A Professor talks about the importance of the AIF for admission.
Admissions Averages - Waterloo
Top Programs are extremely competative
Having marks in the mid 90's does not guarantee admission. Waterloo provides a good example of this phenomenon. Success rates for applications are about 5-10% in total.
Waterloo - How Many Spaces?
We are often asked about how many spaces there are available in each program, so here is an estimate of total spaces for each (subject to change).
Every month, we like to refresh our UMCA Learning Community as to our policy on Homework. First we would want to restate our policy on what we believe homework is, then say what it is not. At UMCA we take great pride in our high quality delivery of curriculum. Every year we refine it, and our individualized teachers take ongoing professional development in order to optimally deliver it. The ongoing clincher of the delivery of curriculum is the Homework piece.
What it is
Lessons are sequentially planned, and carefully delivered in oral and written communication with painstaking effort to make the transfer of knowledge effective. Each week, a small sample representing the essentials of this knowledge is sent home to serve the student as a clincher on what he or she has learned that week. Parents play a powerful role as facilitators as they oversee Homework, check it, and make sure it has been done properly before it is sent back. This applies most of all to the primary grades, and then with gradual release of responsibility, the Intermediate and Senior grade students take responsibility for themselves. Homework is vital feedback for teachers and gives them necessary cues for planning and assessment for your child.
What it is not
We all strive for work/life balance. We all need to put school aside and do something entirely different on weekends and holidays. In order to put it aside we have to properly wrap it up at the end of the week. This goes for teachers as well as families. Homework is not busy work. It is not a game we play to prove we are working harder than anyone else. It is not designed as a miserable chore to be dreaded. It is not an infringement on family time. Each teacher keeps the quantity of homework assigned to the minimum necessary to consolidate the lessons.
We have a small number of members in our learning community who object to any homework at all. Ironically, among those are families, some have children who need the homework the most in order to consolidate what they learned the previous week. Any concerns otherwise about quantity can be addressed to the subject teacher as a first step, and only following that, Ms. Svetlana as the second step. We hope this clarifies any questions you had on this important UMCA Policy.
Welcome back to another exciting, fun-filled year of strong education and artistic expression at UMCA. I am excited to continue working with all of you at UMCA under the role of "Drama/ Theatre Performance Consultant". I will work closely with our talented teaching staff to assist with all of our drama and musical performances that we have planned to showcase for you this year. We are excited to continue to provide our students with an enriched performing arts program for the 2017/2018 school year.
Our first set of performances have already started brainstorming and rehearsals. We look forward to showcasing our talented students at the end of November.
Wishing you all a wonderful school year!