Westminster Academy has always believed the responsibility for choosing and applying to a particular college or university rests with the student and his or her family. For this reason, we see the Director of College Guidance as more of a pathway to information. The Director of College Guidance meets with all seniors and juniors to create their application files. Seniors, typically, will file copies or originals of all applications to assist in monitoring the deadline dates. The students, of course, are ultimately responsible for meeting all deadlines.
Westminster graduates have applied and been admitted to prestigious universities throughout the United States and abroad. Through the past five years over 20% of Westminster Seniors have received recognition by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as National Merit Finalists or Commended Scholars.
Why Don’t We Offer AP Courses?
AP courses are designed to accomplish two things for high school students: 1) offer challenging, specialized content that adheres to national standardization and 2) give high school students a chance to earn college credit after taking a high school course. We have investigated the various kinds of AP courses offered and have sent faculty members to AP conferences. We have intentionally decided not to offer AP courses because offering them and teaching according to AP’s pre-set curriculum is not always consistent with our educational philosophy. Furthermore, our students are allowed to take AP exams, even if they have not completed the specific course.
A student taking an AP course must still perform at a certain level on the AP exam to be eligible for college credit or placement. However, students do not have to complete an AP course in order to take an AP exam. Therefore, our students normally choose to take some AP tests in their senior year, earning potential college credit or the ability to skip basic-level college classes. We believe that our current use of what AP has to offer works well for our students. In 2014, 14 students took a total of 31 exams, with 100% of scoring 3 or higher on at least one test.