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How SSIS Pathways Lead Students to Universities Worldwide

How SSIS Pathways Lead Students to Universities Worldwide
Tanya Olander

With diverse course options not offered anywhere else in Ho Chi Minh City, SSIS high school students have a unique set of choices. Between AP, IBDP, and SSIS courses, they can chart their path to universities all around the world. And they never do it alone.

Offering AP, IBDP, and SSIS course pathways and adding to this extensive range of course options reflect our commitment to ensuring that SSIS students have the skills and dispositions they need to succeed in a rapidly evolving world. 

As our students enter high school, they have time to discover their preferred learning styles, explore disciplines, and cultivate their passions. As they do so, they begin to develop their 4-year high school plan with guidance from their designated high school counselor who supports them through to graduation.

This close-knit support between counselors and students and their parents ensures that each family can make well-informed choices as their children prepare to attend top universities across the globe.

The First Step on a 4-Year Path

The first step of the high school journey actually begins in the second semester of Grade 8. After meeting our four full-time high school counselors, each student is assigned a counselor. Together, they begin to develop and refine the student’s 4-year plan to make sure it aligns with their interests, goals, and university aspirations.

"We focus on building strong relationships with each student we work with. Understanding their individual learning styles, interests, and dreams for the future is essential to provide the best guidance, particularly with such a rich program,” says Director of High School Counseling and University Guidance, Steve Petraglia. 

Meetings like the“Rising Grade 9 Information Night” help families understand the options and timeline of their first high school course selection process.​​​​​​

Collaborative Support

In addition to one-on-one assistance from their counselor and the continuous planning process, there are several other ways we support students and their families, such as informational meetings, workshops, and formal and informal insights provided by teachers and peers.

In the first two years of the high school program, SSIS courses make up the majority of students’ schedules. As each year progresses, students begin to define their path further by choosing SSIS courses, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and IB courses toward the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). AP courses are one year long and have exams that focus primarily on content knowledge. IB courses span two years and emphasize content, critical thinking, and writing. IB students are assessed on coursework and exam results.

"The intentional design of our academic programs ensures that students develop a strong foundation early on so as to meet with great success in either the AP or IB pathways," explains High School Principal Jennifer Mendes.  

At the annual High School Course Selection Fair, teachers from each department are available to answer students' questions about next year's courses.

Among the new courses offered in next year’s High School Program of Studies, students will find the brand new IB Language & Culture course, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, and Textiles & Fashion. During the annual High School Course Selection Fair, students have the opportunity to speak with teachers in a casual and social setting to learn more about these and other courses and expectations. Planning to pursue fashion design at university, one student gets the answers they need to craft next year’s academic plan around the new Textiles & Fashion course. 

New Facilities, New Opportunities

With our new 7,700 sqm High School STEAM Design Center opening this year, along with our new Middle School building in a few months, students will have even more learning opportunities. Independent Scientific Research is one of the courses that will be made possible by the impressive state-of-the-art facility, with its five science labs, along with two art rooms, a 3D art & printmaking room, two-story maker space, and indoor/outdoor art galleries.

The new STEAM Design Center. One of two new buildings that will open in the Spring of 2024.

Each Path Is a Personal Journey

As they get ready to make their course selections, we are very excited for our students who have a dedicated network of support, highly experienced and passionate teachers, new facilities, and a wealth of opportunities to look forward to. Whichever path SSIS students chart to graduation, they are guaranteed to go on a journey of self-discovery, growth, and personal development.

Learn more about our high school program here

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