A Smoother Transition: SSM’s ScholarShift


The transition from high school to university is often full of surprises for the unprepared. Many students struggle to come to grips with the higher expectations required by higher education. Although there are common skill sets necessary in both contexts, university students need to be able to master more challenging study skills, including understanding more complex academic materials, time management, and stress management.

Top American boarding school Shattuck-St. Mary’s School utilizes a unique and innovative approach, exemplified by its unique ScholarShift® program, in efforts to help high school students anticipate and prepare for the approaching transition.

College-Preparatory Model

The leap from a fully structured 12th-grade year to a first-year schedule in university is significant, and traditional high schools typically do not develop the skills that prepares students for this leap. With ScholarShift®, students are exposed to the university model of classes while still within the structure of the school. Students will also be introduced to Blended Learning, a model that encourages them to engage during class and independently manage work during the rest of the week, with the ongoing support of their teachers. In other words, students will learn how best to manage their time on days that are less structured, but with the same daily access to the teachers and facilities they usually have.

Exploring New Areas of Interest

ScholarShift® enables students to delve into their passions and explore new areas of interest through internship opportunities and engaging in community service commitments. Besides that, students can also design and complete independent projects or research in the school’s weCreate center, such as developing innovative products and solving complex problems collaboratively. With exemplary mentorship by teachers, students will be better prepared for the responsibility and independence of university life.

Developing 21st Century Skills

In order to prepare for careers of tomorrow, students must develop transferable, future-proof 21st Century skills. ScholarShift® exposes students to powerful soft skills like critical thinking, teamwork, adaptability, and creativity, as well as digital, media, and technical literacy. The increased independence required by ScholarShift® also helps students develop resilience in a world where new jobs and careers emerge faster than schools and colleges can adapt.

Shattuck-St. Mary’s School celebrated the Grand Opening of its first global campus, Shattuck-St. Mary’s Forest City International School, in Johor, Malaysia, on August 26, 2018. The opening of its new global campus brings to this region a 160-year legacy of educational excellence, led by highly trained academic leaders from the USA, Canada and the UK. The school offers a holistic American education that combines academic rigor and discipline with innovative learning approaches. These, coupled with the school’s bespoke ScholarShift® program, will ensure that students are well prepared for further education and life beyond school.

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