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College and Academic Planning

Each student at GWUOHS receives an Individualized Academic Plan and intensive, personalized college counseling and planning.

GWUOHS provides every student with an individualized high school experience. Our counselors work with each student to develop his or her own Individualized Academic Plan (IAP), with carefully mapped-out, personalized learning strategies that reflects assessments of skills, aptitude, and future goals, including discussions with the student and his or her parents. This plan becomes a living document that is revisited frequently as each student progresses.

The IAP is important because it reflects a student’s learning style and aptitude—focusing on strengths and areas of challenge, and giving us insight into goals and aspirations. If they're struggling with their work, we can offer them help; if they're ready to move on, they can.

The IAP is designed to organize and properly sequence the student’s course work. For example, your student may be particularly strong in math; GWUOHS can flexibly accommodate the level of math that’s right for your student, and provide additional opportunities for advanced study and enrichment. This helps put your student on a solid path for admission to the right set of colleges, to match your student’s goals and abilities.

Getting Out of the Box

In too many schools, students get put in a box. They are tracked in a group, even if their strengths vary by subject. Our counselors look at each individual student and put together a customized plan to meet that student’s needs. We get students out of the box by providing more choices to create personal course portfolios, instead of being restricted by the limited choices offered by other schools.

Students are encouraged to enroll in the most rigorous college preparatory courses they can manage. This generally means taking five core academic classes each year, plus Journeys Symposium.

College Planning

The College Counseling Department at GWUOHS is dedicated to helping students find the college or university that will align with their interests, passions, and talents. Students are encouraged to begin thinking about college as early as 9th grade. Our counselors guide students year by year to prepare for the journey of college selection.

Journeys Symposium is the required college and life planning course that all GWUOHS students take. Students and parents also gain access to the proprietary Family Connections resource site, where students are able to explore careers and research colleges. Family Connections is used by students during their tenure to help them plan and set goals.

Starting in 11th grade, students begin the college selection process with the help of the college counselor. Students research colleges and begin building a list of prospective schools. 

Lisa Bell, GWUOHS’ dedicated college counselor, has been with K12 since 2012. Prior to joining GWUOHS, she was an Admissions Advisor and Academic Coach with International Academy. Lisa also has seven years of experience in the Education field—teaching various subjects in grades 1–12 and Adult ESL both stateside and abroad. While overseas, she guided Active Duty military members and their families through the college selection and application process as an Education Counselor. Lisa is a member of NACAC, and has attended several conferences, including the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions, and the Naviance Summer Institute.


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