4 college preparatory schools nurturing future leaders 
Source: Christ School

For students to become leaders of tomorrow, they must start their education on the best possible foot. An excellent education takes students beyond the four walls of a traditional classroom, immersing them in an experiential learning experience that stays even as they graduate into a more demanding academic environment and become global citizens. 

As such, finding the right school to provide the greatest value for your child’s future is crucial for their academic and spiritual development. In these schools, your child will learn under the tutelage of experienced educators, spanning numerous settings and mediums. Comprehensive after-school programmes allow your child to explore and pursue their hobbies, interests, and passions.

If this is the outcome you seek for your child, consider these college preparatory schools in the US: 

Christ School

Source: Christ School

A rigorous curriculum and opportunities to engage in various outdoor activities prepare boys at Christ School for their college education. Source: Christ School

Spanning an expansive 500-acre campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Christ School is an Episcopal boarding school with a full college preparatory curriculum for more than 290 boys from 18 states and eight countries. Here, four pillars guide Christ School in shaping boys into the best versions of themselves: academic rigour, leadership, spirituality and the dignity of manual labour.

A blend of a positive learning environment, small class size, and individualised attention prepare students to join the likes of Harvard, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, and the University of Toronto in the last five years. Along the way, boys identify their leadership style so that their Christ School education will last long after graduation.

Outside the classroom, boys become future leaders by participating in a wide range of leadership initiatives. They play sports, explore the outdoors, care for their campus and join  community service. As they are located just south of Asheville, North Carolina, students capitalise on the opportunity to interact with their environment through hiking, biking, rock climbing, and much more. Proximity to major cities like Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia means students get to attend architecture study tours, NBA and NFL game visits, and much more, too. 

Their character development does not stop there. Students gather regularly to worship, and that shared fellowship is the glue that binds the community together. At this school committed to inclusivity and diversity, students from all major world religions and those with no faith background are welcome. To study at a school that prepares your child for the most competitive colleges in the US, click here.

The Pennington School

Source: The Pennington School

The Pennington School welcomes 525 students in grades 6 to 12, including international students from 40 countries through its international programme. Source: The Pennington School

Located in a peaceful and safe New Jersey suburban town, The Pennington School is one of America’s oldest private (independent) schools that is proud to have included international students since 1885. Pennington’s diverse, coeducational community offers a warm and welcoming place to learn, live and develop individual excellence.

Here, international boarding students are matched with a domestic host family for an authentic cultural experience through the Host International Programme. While they do not live with their host families, students have the chance to dine with them, go to movie nights or sports events, or even join trips to see a show in New York or Philadelphia. 

The Director of International Student Services also assists international students by issuing their I-20 upon enrollment for obtaining a student (F-1) visa, hosting orientation for new students and their parents, and arranging airport transfers. 

Pennington is as dynamic as it is experiential. The Applied Science Certificate Programme grants students opportunities to learn from leaders in neuroscience, engineering, gene therapy and many more. It allowed students like Anna Z. to win second place in the Mercer Science and Engineering Fair for her project, “Neural Networks in Glucose Prediction.” 

Pennington students find success on the field too, with 41 athletic teams, achieving 34 state and league championships in the past six years. 

All Pennington graduates are accepted to college and go on to attend some of the most prestigious and selective colleges and universities in the country and abroad. Click here to find out how your child can achieve transformational growth at Pennington.

Cambridge School of Weston

At The Cambridge School of Weston (CSW), it’s easy for students — between the grades of nine and 12 — to get a glimpse into their future, both on and off-campus. Set on 65 acres of lush woodlands, about 12 miles away from Boston’s finest universities, students enjoy the best that a world-class dynamic city and the tranquillity and safety of a contained, suburban campus have to offer. 

CSW brings to life active, experiential, student-centred learning to complement diverse interests and aspirations — an education that remains relevant and responsive to the evolving needs of generations of students and the changing world in which they live.

Source: The Cambridge School of Weston

Here, a progressive education brings to life active, experiential learning to complement diverse interests and aspirations. Source: The Cambridge School of Weston

CSW’s signature academic model, the Module System, is based on research about how adolescents learn best, and divides the year into six, six-week terms known as “mods,” in which students take no more than three academic courses at once. Rigorous courses in the expressive arts, English, language, history, maths and science lay a solid foundation. 

With guidance and support from teachers, advisors, and coaches, students can choose from CSW’s over 250 courses that provide incredible depth into specific themes or subject areas. This highly individualised approach empowers students to explore and engage with choice, curiosity, courage, self-awareness, discipline, open-mindedness, and a sense of personal responsibility.

The Putney School

Source: The Putney School

The Putney School has been practising project-based learning, integrated curricula and hands-on education for over 75 years. Source: The Putney School

Creative yet practical, visionary yet grounded — the Putney School is one of the most progressive schools in the US. That’s not all. This co-educational boarding and day school for grades nine to 12 is distinctive in many other ways. 

One is its culture of vibrant intellectual curiosity within an informal environment. Free from the race for grades — it does not teach the Advanced Placement curriculum or any other standardised tests — they learn in compelling ways. They are in charge of the destiny of their education. By operating the school’s dairy farm, participating in physical work programmes, getting elected to the governing board, sitting in as members of the admission committee and more. It’s an effective approach too — the majority of Putney students win places at top colleges and universities. 

The second reason is its project-based learning, integrated curricula and hands-on education. Although only recently implemented by other schools, the Putney School has been practising these for over 75 years. Its academic arts programme encompasses a wide range of disciplines in the visual and performing arts, one of the central Putney experiences. Students engage and explore a topic meaningful to them. 

The third reason? Support. Learners of all stages and experiences are celebrated here. There are English language classes for international students. The Afternoon and Athletics programme ensures Putney students are not just active, but reap the full physical and emotional benefits of exercise. Across the curriculum, issues of social justice and race are taught.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International