Worcester Academy has a longstanding tradition of offering a postgraduate year, and enjoys a well-deserved reputation for effectively enabling the postgraduate student to more fully develop his/her potential. Postgraduate students at Worcester Academy are expected to be 5- or 7-day boarding students, and they benefit immensely from a year of living in a structured residential environment before they transition to the many freedoms found at the college level.
While it may be easy to define what a postgraduate year is – “a single year of study at a secondary independent school that follows high school graduation and precedes college matriculation” – it is much more difficult to describe who might pursue a postgraduate year of study, or why a postgraduate year might make sense for a graduating senior. There is no such thing as a “typical postgraduate;” rather, each student presents a different set of life experiences, interests and goals, that taken together indicate a postgraduate year of study at Worcester Academy before college may be of enormous benefit.
Reasons students pursue a postgraduate year include:
- Students and parents recognize that college is an important, expensive undertaking that should be done right, and that an extra year will help them make the most of their college experience;
- Relatively young graduating seniors don’t see the need to rush off to college;
- Not yet feeling fully prepared to succeed in college;
- Want to take another year at the secondary level to better prepare for college-level work, and to experience living away from home in a structured, supportive school environment;
- Academic “late bloomers” who want an additional year of strong academic work to show as they apply to colleges;
- International students who want a year of immersion to work on their English skills and to acclimate to American culture before applying to university;
- Unhappy about how their college application process went, and want to take another year to work hard and see if they can expand upon their college options.
Whatever the reasons, students who enroll for a postgraduate year at Worcester Academy get the same high quality education and co-curricular opportunities afforded to students who have been at WA for several years. Postgraduate students pursue a traditional academic program from the Academy’s Grade 12 curriculum according to their ability, background, prior coursework, and interests -- their academic program is designed to supplement
the courses they took through high school. A postgraduate’s schedule typically includes English, math, science, and history, plus an elective. Postgraduate students participate in all aspects of boarding school life and have the same responsibilities and privileges as any other member of the student body.
Students who have pursued a postgraduate year of study at WA are better prepared for college, and typically have many college options to choose from that were not available as they graduated high school.