What is a Postgraduate Year?
A postgraduate, or “PG year” as it is often called, is a full academic year of study generally pursued between graduation from high school and matriculation at a college or university. A PG year is offered at many independent schools throughout the country and usually involves a residential experience. Jireh Prep is one of the only true post graduate programs in the Southeast devoted exclusively to the education of young men in a post graduate year of study.
Who might be interested in a postgraduate program?
Reason for pursuing a postgraduate program are almost as varied as the interests, personalities, and ability range of any broad cross-section of college bound students. A student may need another year after high school to develop basic academic skills. A student-athlete may have put more emphasis on athletics and less on studies in high school, or a student may have discovered a latent athletic talent too late in a high school career to gain the notice of college coaches. Another might have graduated a year younger than most classmates and may feel the need for additional maturation before college. Still others find themselves with college choices which no longer match their needs, but are beyond the point at which it is feasible to begin a new college search and still meet deadlines: rather than commit to an inappropriate college choice, such students might use the postgraduate year as a second chance at the college admission process.
Actually, the only common characteristic of all postgraduate students seems to be their common desire to improve themselves in preparation for a college education. Students who successfully complete a postgraduate year invariably enter college directly after graduation. Further, the traditional PG year lessons in personal organization and confidence building, combined with development of genuine intellectual curiosity, have lifelong value which transcends the college years.
How do colleges view students who complete a postgraduate year?
College admission offices generally appreciate any program or course of study which enhances the probability that students will be well prepared to succeed upon matriculation at their institutions. Hundreds of colleges across the nation enroll students each year from postgraduate year programs and have done so for a long time, for the concept of a post graduate, or “PG,” year between high school and college is not new.
How do students benefit from a postgraduate year?
The environment of a residential, college preparatory school provides the key to the success of a PG year. Small classes, faculty who care and are available throughout the day and in most evenings, facilities which mirror those of a college campus, programs designed to develop the skills to meet the challenges of a college experience, virtually all aspects of a school created with only one goal-college preparation-contribute to the success of a postgraduate year.
Because Jireh Prep specializes in college preparation for young men through the postgraduate experience, Jireh Prep is able to tailor an environment to the needs of the student in transition from high school to college. At Jireh Prep, the daily class schedule, academic year calendar, use of advanced technology, dormitory life, and athletic programs are designed to reflect what the student may expect in college. In addition, the fact that all students begin their year at Jireh Prep as new students, who are able to enjoy a fresh start, provides them with the opportunity to progress through the postgraduate year as a common experience.
Are students in postgraduate program able to compete in sports?
Yes, participation in sports during a PG year does not affect NCAA eligibility and may actually enhance a student-athlete’s chance to play a sport in college. Since all students at Jireh Prep are postgraduate, athletic competition frequently involves collegiate opponents in contest with college freshman or junior varsity teams. Student-athletes at Jireh gain the valuable experience of competing at the college level and having the opportunity to perform in front of college coaches while still preparing for the academic challenges of college.
How and when does a student apply for postgraduate program?
Most students who consider a postgraduate year are concurrently exploring college options. Some students apply for admission to colleges, wait for the results of the process, and then decide to apply for admission to a Post graduate program in the spring of their senior year. Others may incorporate the option of a postgraduate program within the college admission process and apply to a school offering the PG year at the same time as filling college applications. This latter plan is preferable, for it allows the student to make decisions with a clearer view of all available options and, hence, to have more confidence in establishing his plans for the future.
Applying for admission to Jireh Prep is much like completing college admission application. JIreh Prep requires: a completed application form with fee, an official high school transcript, results of SAT and/or ACT, and a personal interview.
What makes Jireh Preps postgraduate experience different than those offered by other prep programs?
We classify ourselves as a true post graduate program due to our academics and the preservation of the students NCAA/NAIA eligibility. The characteristics of many college preparatory programs include challenging academics, a diverse student body, highly qualified staff, small classes, and individual attention. Jireh Prep offers all of these characteristics. However, Jireh Preparatory Academy’s logistical challenges emulate a true college setting. Students are introduced to a variety of life skills necessary to be a successful student athlete. Our safe and structured environment allows the young men to experience life lessons valuable to the maturation and development of their manhood. We plant the seeds in hopes they take root and blossom with their future endeavors.
The United States Department of Education reports that more than 50% of all male students who begin college never finish; most withdrawals occur during the freshman year. Of those who do complete a bachelor’s degree, only 34 percent do so in four years; the average amount of time in which students are earning bachelor degrees is 6 years.
At Jireh Prep, our goal is to help our students develop the academic skills, study skills, self-discipline, maturity and self-confidence necessary to succeed in college, rather than just to survive it.
Because all of our students are postgraduates entering in July, they share the postgraduate year experience, and process from Orientation to Commencement together. Everyone is a newcomer upon arrival. Everyone must make new friends, learn to navigate the campus, and familiarize himself with the faculty and culture of the program. United by a clear, similar purpose, and a shared commitment to our program is necessary to achieve their goals, our students develop a strong camaraderie among themselves, and life-long friendships are made. Positive peer pressure to achieve success in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, and citizenship is widespread, and students help each other in all aspects of the program.
Combination of Structure, Support, and Independence
Because all of our students are college age, usually 17 years of age or older, Jireh Prep emulates a college environment and experience, yet provides structure and support which colleges do not provide. As a result, our semester is a true transition period, not a repeat of a senior year in high school. Since we do not enroll high school students, our rules and policies are different from those at traditional boarding schools. Our students have more independence than they may have at a high school. This independence requires them to take responsibility for themselves, just as they will have to do in college. Unlike college, however, we hold our students accountable for their actions and decisions. Consequently, our students leave Jireh Prep with a maturity that they did not have upon arrival.
Building men of distinction