Post-Secondary Guidance and Career Education

Our post-secondary guidance and career education program ensures each student at Southridge receives well informed support for researching both university or college programs of interest as well as understanding pathways for career options. Each student receives individual counselling and guidance to prepare for applications to their post-secondary institutions of choice. We emphasize a healthy approach to post-secondary planning.
Year after year, Southridge students are successful in receiving offers of admission to selective programs spanning the globe. In a growing competitive university admissions landscape, many parents are asking the question, “When should we begin planning for university and college admission?” It is important to dispel the myth that any university process has to start before Grade 10. Increased pressure on children in every aspect in their lives both through formal educational settings and extracurricular endeavours is taking a toll on the mental health of high school students.
Recommendations from the Harvard “Making Caring Common” Project suggests five important recommendations for reducing stress associated with college preparation and admissions:
1. Prioritizing Quality not Quantity of Activities
2. Awareness of overloading AP Courses
3. Discouraging over-coaching
4. Options for reducing ACT and SAT test pressures 
5. Expanding perceptions about what constitutes a good university
Through the delivery of the Career Education curriculum and in collaboration with the socio/emotional learning support program at Southridge, this is how students are supported in their journey through Senior School: 
(Note: this process is not an exact science but is merely a guideline that will vary from student to student)

Our students are prepared for and admitted to a wide range of post-secondary academic programs including Liberal Arts, Visual and Fine Arts, Health and Physical Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Applied Sciences in Canada and the United States. They are also assisted in the process of gaining admission to direct entry programs for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Law in the United Kingdom.

Our extensive resource centre features:
  • University and College Viewbooks
  • Application preparation workshops
    • Writing personal statements
    • Video submission coaching
    • Resume and cover letter writing
    • Test preparation materials (SAT, ACT)
  • Career and industry information
  • Internship and volunteer job postings
  • Information sessions hosted by admissions representatives
  • University and College Fairs (Canadian University Fair hosted by Southridge)
  • Coffee mornings for parents
  • Scholarship listings
  • Career Day (a full day of speakers/presenters from a variety of professions)
  • GAP year information
  • Individual and family counselling appointments

The success of our Post-secondary Guidance & Career Education Program is evident in our results. All of our graduates receive offers of admission to 4-year (Bachelor’s Degree) programs at universities across Canada, the United States, and internationally in countries such as United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. Some of our graduates are recipients of university and college major entrance scholarships as well as finalists for national scholarships such as the Loran Award and the TD Scholarships for Community Leadership.

Meet the Team

Mr. James Smith
Post-Secondary Guidance & Career Education Director
Mr. Smith comes to Southridge after six years at Simon Fraser University supporting prospective and enrolled students in post-secondary transition and academic success. A lifelong learner, he has studied at SFU, Queen’s University, the University of California at Berkeley, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Douglas College, and Royal Roads University



Ms. Yvette Livingston, BA CCDP
Post-Secondary Guidance & Career Education Counsellor
With over 20 years of experience in career and education guidance, Ms. Livingston brings a wealth of knowledge in supporting students in their journey to discern a plan for life after high school. She has worked in university and college program admissions as well as career and cooperative education services. She has also worked with youth and young adults in federal and provincial government employment assistance services. As a Certified Career Development Practitioner, her practice ensures that students approach this important life transition with confidence and well-defined realistic goals.