Many parents and students are nervous about the transition from the learning center to university. There are so many unanswered questions and complex processes involved.
This can be a source of anxiety and worry amongst members of the A.C.E. community. In this article, you'll learn more about the possibilities after A.C.E. and the program that F.I.C.A designed to support its students.
The ICCE Certificates
There are three essential ICCE certificates:
General ICCE Certificate (equivalent to O'Level)
Intermediate ICCE Certificate
Advanced ICCE Certificate (equivalent to A'Level)
Anyone who has completed A.C.E can attest that the General ICCE Certificate feels like the longest and most tedious one out of the three.
Many people often choose to stop on this certificate because they no longer have the desire to go on. While others stop on the Intermediate or the Advanced certificate. Whatever it is that you decide, life doesn't end there.
Yes, you can graduate with the General Certificate and get into higher education.
No, you are not a failure.
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy that can be given to A.C.E students. If there was, it would contradict the very foundation of this curriculum that is based on individualized, self-paced learning.
Depending on a student's situation and academic goals, each certificate can support them in their journey. The Advanced certificate is equivalent to Grade 12, and it's the best path to higher education, however it's not always the best path for everyone.
It's important that parents and students are fully aware of all their options and their implications.
The main challenge A.C.E. high school students have comes with transitioning from their learning centers to universities around the world. Few A.C.E. schools offer support and guidance to high school graduates and alumni. There is a great emphasis on completing ICCE certificates, but once that's done...what comes next?
To fill the gap, Dr. Gillian Kasirye and her daughter, Pearl Kasirye have designed a college prep program for A.C.E. students. UPrep is meant for those who are willing to put in the extra work and do what it takes to get into good universities.
UPrep will help students in the college application process, provide academic counseling, and train them with the skills they need to succeed in university.
Why is this necessary?
Glad you asked!
The reality is, African A.C.E. students are at a statistical and socioeconomic disadvantage. Statistically speaking, white and asian people of high economic status score better on standardized exams and have greater success in college applications. This is not about their race, however, it's about their access. Their access to college prep programs, standardized test coaching, and college application mentors give them an added advantage.
As a result, we must do what it takes to help our own students gain access to these resources and develop the skills they need to compete with others on a global scale. Whether that is competing for scholarships, grants, college admissions, or internships, the competition is tight.
Students at F.I.C.A need to refine their writing, study, and language skills in order to get the best out of higher education. But they cannot do this alone, and they shouldn't have to. Others have gone before them and have learned tough lessons the hard way. This is why people like Pearl Kasirye are taking the time to pave the way for others just like her.
She worked as an Academic Mentor at Franklin University Switzerland. She was hired to mentor, train, and support university freshman from Norway, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Germany to succeed in college. When she worked with these students, she analyzed and learned the things that people struggle with the most in their first year of university. UPrep covers those topics to ensure that UPrep scholars have a smoother university transition and are able to cope with high academic standards.
Dr. Gillian Kasirye, PhD, graduated from Columbia University, an Ivy League University based in New York City with a full scholarship. She earned three degrees, published multiple research publications and continued her work in curriculum design for organizations like the UN, UNESCO, and NCDC. She is also a curriculum expert and lecturer at Makerere University and has a wealth of expertise in higher education.
Her and her daughter are working together to fill this gap and make sure that those who need it can access the resources they need to have a successful academic career.
How You Can Become a UPrep Scholar
This is not just a one-off training seminar for high school students. It is a 3-6 month program that guides students in their university transition.
Standardized Test Prep and Advising (SAT, ACT, GED, etc.)
College Application Mentoring
Scholarship and Funding Advising
College Study Skills Prep
With this combination of services, UPrep scholars will be able to choose what they need and tailor it to their specific academic and personal goals. They will receive advising and mentorship along with support during their college application process.
A.C.E. students can get into any university they set their minds to, they just need the right guidance to do so. That means that we do not limit our students geographically, but let them apply to universities around the world because there is a wealth of opportunity worldwide, not just in our backyards.
Instead of gambling with higher education, UPrep scholars will have a clear, strategized approach to transition to universities worldwide. Our very own pioneer, Pearl Kasirye, got admission to universities like NYU, UBC, Emerson, SFU, and graduated from Franklin University Switzerland a semester early with Honors. Dr. Gillian Kasirye attended the top university in New York, and has experience with Ivy League application processes.
Why can't that be you?
Don't limit yourself, make sure that you go the extra mile when it comes to your academic career. UPrep is here to support you in that journey.
If you want to learn about the UPrep program, visit this page.
If you are ready to apply to become a UPrep scholar, you can send your application here.