Why Senior School at SMUS?

Senior School students

At SMUS, you will learn the skills to be successful in university and in life

The No. 1 reason for choosing an independent school is to get a good education and St. Michaels University School is recognized nationally and internationally for the quality of our academic program. It's more than just a place to learn though. Joining SMUS is like joining a family and we think you will find your place here.

Recognized Qualifications

As a school in British Columbia, SMUS follows the BC high school curriculum and graduates receive a BC Certificate of Graduation often called the Dogwood Diploma. The Dogwood Diploma is recognized worldwide. You can also take university-level courses at SMUS through the Advanced Placement (AP) program including the prestigious AP Capstone Diploma.
 

JasperWith my experience in AP Capstone, when I entered university at Harvard, my writing was already ahead of many of my peers, which allowed me to focus on honing not the mechanics of my writing but my grasp on the material and the strength of my argument.
Jasper
Harvard, Class of 2020
Personalized Learning

SMUS is a pioneer in personalization. What does this mean? It means your education will be tailored to you – your strengths, your weaknesses and your interests. Everyone has a different way of learning and SMUS has both the breadth of courses and the depth of teaching, so you can follow your own path. It also means there’s no coasting at SMUS. If you’re finding a subject too easy, you’ll be challenged with additional material.

Individual Support

Everything at SMUS is aimed at your success. Our personalized approach means that teachers will quickly get to know where and how you might need extra help. We have an Academic Support Centre staffed by teachers after school and a Learning Resource team to help students who might need more specialized support.

University (and Life) Preparation

Almost all the students who come to SMUS go on to higher education. It used to be that getting good grades was enough but now top universities are becoming more selective. They want to see that you have a range of skills – like teamwork, problem solving, self-motivation and the ability to lead. As a university prep school, these skills are at the core of what we do, so you can be confident you’re receiving the best possible preparation for your future. Our University Counselling team is also here to help you decide which school is the right fit for you.

Discovering Who You Are

SMUS places a lot of emphasis on self-discovery. We’re innovators in experiential learning, which will give you opportunities to use classroom knowledge in real life. Experiential learning is built into all our courses, with special focus in Grade 10 through the Experiential program. We’ll ask what it means to you to live a purposeful life and challenge you to lead and volunteer (we call this character education). All of this means that when it’s time to look at AP courses and universities, you will know what you’re passionate about and you can make confident decisions about your future.

School in The City

An important part of self-discovery is having experiences you typically don’t get in a classroom. At SMUS, we offer this by taking advantage of our location in the city of Victoria. The Experiential program extensively uses instructors and facilities outside the school. However, many courses integrate off-campus learning. For example, you might work on a business project with a local company or display your art at a downtown gallery.

Teachers Who Love What They Do

Students often tell us that their teachers are more than just a teacher to them – a friend, a mentor, a counsellor. Our teachers take pride in getting to know you and helping you through subjects you find difficult. We also have an award-winning development program for our teachers, so they are at the forefront of their profession for your benefit.

A Love of Learning

Perhaps the most important difference is that the students here love learning. You’ll be in an environment where it’s cool to like math (or science… or history…or any of our subject areas) and everybody is encouraged to be themselves. The SMUS community is on your side. Whoever you are, whatever your background, you’ll find a home and a family at our school.
 

AbbyBeing at SMUS is challenging academically. Coming here has taught me what it means to be pushed to my potential. I feel like I'm maximizing my learning in my classes here.
Abby
Class of 2020
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Fall Spark is an opportunity to visit SMUS for an open day of discovery.

Find Out More

SMUS Senior School Viewbook coverThe Senior School viewbook provides an overview of programs and the SMUS experience.

See the Viewbook