College Placement and Transition

Winston Prep provides support for students wishing to transition to a post-secondary setting. Prior to high school graduation, we work together with the family to identify the types of options that may be appropriate as the next step for the students and to facilitate any other parts of the investigation and application process.

Consistent with the WPS philosophy of individualized education, the transition process is an individualized one that centers on the student and takes into consideration the same set of cognitive, academic, and social-emotional characteristics that drive the entire diagnostic educational process at WPS.

Transition Process

In the winter of junior year, each family is invited to participate in an individualized transition meeting with the College Placement & Transition Coordinator, and the student’s Focus teacher and Dean. The goal of this initial meeting is to discuss the student’s strengths and interests, academic abilities, and current level of academic and social independence in order to identify post-secondary options that will allow each student to have a successful post-WPS experience in a program that will continue to foster their academic and social growth.

Following the student’s initial transition meeting, parents receive a follow-up letter, which summarizes the meeting discussion, lists the post-secondary options that were discussed for the student to explore, and outlines the next steps in the transition process. Families often utilize time during the WPS spring break to visit college and program campuses. Throughout the remainder of junior year, the College Placement & Transition Coordinator remains in contact with parents and students, gaining feedback from them based on their research and making additional recommendations as is appropriate. Each family is then invited in for a follow-up transition meeting during the fall of the student’s senior year. The goal of this second team meeting is to revise each student’s list of post-secondary options, make additional program suggestions when appropriate, and to discuss in greater detail specifics of the application process.

We encourage you to download our Transition Handbook, which provides informative documents such as transition timeline, guidelines for documentation, and financial aid information, as well as helpful resources such as an application checklist, practice interview questions, and recommended summer programs.

How WPS Students Benefit

There are numerous opportunities for academic support that our graduates are utilizing at the college level, including extended time on exams, one-on-one tutoring, assistance with writing papers, and help planning out long-term projects. In some instances we have also been able to connect a current WPS student with members of our alumni community to share information about a school or program they might be considering. As a general rule, WPS students are encouraged to take advantage of all support services that are available at their school or program of choice at least for their first year.

The College Placement & Transition Office has also developed and now provides instructional seminars to senior students that address topics aimed to educate our seniors about changes that are commonly faced by students as they make the transition to college or other post-graduate programs. Topics that have been covered in these Senior Seminars have included Understanding a Syllabus, Creating a Schedule that Works for You, and Identifying Resources on Your Campus. The goal of this seminar program is to directly teach our students some things that most college students are expected to figure out independently once they arrive on a campus.