Wycliffe students set their sights across the pond

Margie Burnet Ward

Margie Burnet Ward - Credit: Archant

School appoints specialist American tutor and becomes regional test centre to help students gain places at US universities

Wycliffe College

Wycliffe College - Credit: Archant

Responding to increased student demand to study across the Atlantic for their university education, Wycliffe College, the leading independent day and boarding school near Stroud in Gloucestershire, recently appointed a highly experienced American staff member specifically to deal with US applications from its students, who are attracted by a different ethos, a global outlook and a sense of adventure.

Sean Dunne, Deputy Head (Academic) at Wycliffe explains: “We had increasing numbers of pupils asking for help to get to US universities. It is a very different approach to the UK system and we found it difficult to find good advice to buy in. It seemed logical to consider bringing the expertise in house and we did. There has been significant interest since.”

The first hurdle for students however is to pass the ‘SAT Reasoning Test’, a good score is required for admission to most US universities and colleges. The SAT, originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, is a three and three-quarter hour aptitude exam consisting of maths problems as well as reading and critical writing.

Wycliffe College is now the host centre for students sitting the SAT or ACT (American College Testing) exams from across Wales and the South West of England. The school was delighted to have passed the rigorous process to be awarded this prestigious accreditation. Hundreds of pupils from the region (and often beyond) now come to Wycliffe several times a year for their tests.

Over a dozen of Wycliffe’s sixth formers are receiving specialist tuition from their new American tutor, Mrs Betsy Wentzel for applications in 2014 and beyond. Their new programme develops their students’ knowledge and skills required for admission, guides them with their personal statements, and supports them through the application process.

Commenting on what is attracting the enthusiastic Wycliffe students to consider this option, Mrs Wentzel says: “Half the students are fascinated by the thought of studying in America – with the opportunities and contacts that it brings. The others suit the liberal arts approach - which provides a broad foundation in science, English, philosophy, modern languages alongside their specific chosen field of study.”

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Professionally, a university degree from the United States can open doors in a job interview and often gives the added advantage to students.

Mrs Wentzel explains: “The world has got smaller and we are now in a global market with a global economy. For some employers to show that you have studied in America demonstrates that you have an international outlook, plenty of initiative and contacts across the continents.”

Wycliffe’s Head, Mrs Margie Burnet Ward, concludes: “Our US university preparation courses are outstanding thanks to a dedicated, highly-trained specialist team who know exactly how to maximise students’ potential. Pupils are increasingly global in their outlook and we are delighted to be able to help the growing number of our sixth formers looking to the USA to fulfil their ambitions and dreams.”

The next Open Morning will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2013, 10am-12 noon.

Why not come along and see for yourself how Wycliffe develops each child’s potential.


Wycliffe College, Bath Road, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire GL10 2JQ

Tel: 01453 822432


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