A Unique and Successful Approach to College Admissions
Youth Initiative High School does not use a system of grade point averages or class ranks. All classes are evaluated on a pass or fail basis and include an extensive, in-depth narrative evaluation of the class and the student’s performance. Throughout the high school career of every student these narrative evaluations are compiled and become, upon graduation, the student’s transcript.
Instead of a piece of paper with a GPA and class rank, colleges receive a three-ring binder full of every narrative evaluation the student has ever received, reading like a memoir of the student’s growth and achievements. In a college admissions climate where students are desperate to separate themselves from the crowd, YIHS students are immediately recognized as individuals by college admissions counselors around the country.
This way of doing things not only respects the individuality of every student but it has proven to be successful. Youth Initiative student’s are accepted to colleges at higher than average rates.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the college preparation process at Youth Initiative High School are the college tours taken in the 11th and 12th grade.
Each year the junior and senior classes embark on a week-long trip around the upper Midwest, visiting an eclectic sampling of post-secondary institutions. Touring institutions as varied as the large and diverse University of Wisconsin-Madison; small, private, Cornell College in Iowa; and the more specialized American Academy of Art in Chicago allow students to get a feel for the multitude of options they have after high school. Many students point to the college tour as making the prospect of college real to them and helping clarify their thoughts about what they might like to do after high school.
Personalized Academic Counseling
Youth Initiative High School’s academic counseling program begins before a student’s first day of high school and lasts until that student’s first day of college. Our academic counseling program isn’t just a series of meetings to make sure a student is on track. Academic counseling, directed by YIHS alumnus Jacob Hundt, is integrated into the very fabric of education at Youth Initiative High School.
Beginning in grade 9 students take a semester long class introducing them to Youth Initiative High School. This class introduces students to the unique governance and fund-raising structure of the school, hones basic academic skills such as essay writing, note-taking, time management, etc., and acts as a forum for the concerns and questions that come naturally from being a new student in a very busy school.
Another important facet of academic counseling at YIHS is the Care Group. The Care Group is a sort of individualized student support group comprised of the student, the student’s parents, and a peer and adult mentor selected by the student. This group is called together to plan the academic course of a student in the middle of the 9th and the beginning of the 12th grade. The Care Group is also convened if a student wishes to embark on a grand undertaking such as a foreign exchange, or if the student is struggling academically or socially. The Care Group process is meant to support and encourage the students at YIHS to make the most of their education.
In the 11th and 12th grade Jacob works with students on an individual basis to make sense of the college application process. Time is set aside to focus on the application essay, financial aid and scholarship applications, and selecting a school that is right for the student.
Academic counseling at YIHS not only aims to land students at the college of their choice but to ensure that students have the academic and social maturity to succeed beyond high school.
The following is a list of some of the colleges that have accepted YIHS graduates. Institutions where alumni have matriculated are in bold.
Highly Selective Schools
Deep Springs College
University of Chicago
University of California, Los Angeles
Unique and Alternative Schools
American College of Eurythmy
Audubon Expedition Institute
College of the Atlantic
Art and Design Schools
Minneapolis College of Art and Design
American Academy of Art
Technical and Trade Schools
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Madison Area Technical College
Western Technical College
Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago
Large Public Universities
University of Wisconsin - Madison
University of Minnesota - Minneapolis
University of Iowa
Florida State University
Small Public Schools
University of Minnesota - Morris
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Winona State University
Small Private Schools
Lake Forest College
St. John's University/College of St. Benedict
St. Olaf College
American University in Cairo
American University in Bulgaria
European College of Liberal Arts, Germany
St. Louis University, Madrid
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana; Cali, Colombia
Trinity College, University of Dublin
St. Andrew's University, Scotland