Learning Support & Career Development
The Student Support Team at SMA provides additional assistance for students in the areas of academic, personal and career counselling. For help in any of these areas, please request an appointment with the appropriate faculty member.
We're affiliated with Clinical Support Services of Winnipeg and have access to extended supports when needed. Student Support Services are located on the third floor.
Our goal at SMA is to ensure that all students achieve their academic potential. Our resource team works with students, teachers, parents, administrators and Clinical Support Services to identify challenges and support positive change.
Clinicians at Clinical Support Services include a school psychologist, a reading clinician, a speech and language therapist, and a social worker.
A Peer Tutoring Program is also available to students. Supervised by the Resource Teachers, this program matches students needing extra help with an older student who has been successful in the course. The tutors are paid $11 per hour by the parents of the student being tutored.
For more academic tips, read these Study Guides and Strategies.
Guidance & Counselling
Our guidance and counselling department helps young women succeed personally throughout their time at SMA.
These programs support learning in areas of personal, social, educational and career development. From intervention and prevention programs to individual and group counselling, our programs and services include:
- Homeroom guidance classes in Grade 7
- Knowing Me, Knowing You program for Grade 8 students
- Bullying prevention classes
- A peer counselling program
- Conflict resolution
- Healthy relationship building
- Small group counselling for body image, stress and anxiety, self esteem building, etc.
Operating within the framework of the school's mission statement and Catholic teaching, the guidance and counselling department works from a team approach with students, parents and school staff.
SMA Peer Support Team
The Peer Support Team (PST) provides students with help, education and awareness with any social and emotional challenges they're facing. The PST is supervised by the high school counsellor and consists of caring and supportive students in various roles as peer counsellors and classroom presenters.
The success of our Career Development and University Advising program is evident in our results. Over 95% of our graduates receive an offer of admission to 4-year programs — including prestigious universities such as Toronto, McMaster, Waterloo, McGill, Harvard, Penn State, Dartmouth, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, University of St. Andrews UK, and Guildford School of Acting University of Surrey UK. Additionally, our students have gained acceptance to highly selective specialized schools such as the Accelerated Route to Medical School at Queen’s, Sauder School of Business at UBC and the Richard Ivey School at Western.
Our graduates have also been recipients of major entrance scholarships including the University of Manitoba’s Leader of Tomorrow scholarship, Queen’s Chancellor, York, Dalhousie, Carleton and full scholarships at UCLA, Cornell, Quinnipiac University and Penn State University.
Girls with Dreams become Women with Vision — Dream it, Believe it, Achieve it
Career Development and University Advising Program
At St. Mary’s Academy, the Career and University Advising program helps students in grades 9 – 12 focus on the career planning process as a tool they can use both immediately and throughout their lives to create the life they want. At each grade, students will focus on different elements of that planning process. Students are encouraged to arrange a meeting with our Career Counsellor to regularly review their plans and ensure they're taking the required high school courses for university admission.
For more information, contact Ms. Lindsey Fennell, Career Counsellor, by email or at 204-478-6039.
The Career Development course introduces Grade 9 students to career development concepts, starting with an online self-assessment tool that assists them with the process of self evaluation. Through class activities, students will begin to understand the connection between her skills, strengths, interests and future education and career choices. Students will also develop effective communication skills while presenting a preliminary career portfolio called the “Me Box”. A highlight for the grade 9 class is Take Our Kids to Work Day, when students accompany a family member or family friend to their work place and experience that particular career for the day.
Grade 10 students build on the skills acquired in grade 9, and continue to focus on career planning in their Career Development course. Students will compile a portfolio to document evidence of their strengths and experiences. Their portfolio will include elements such as a cover letter, resume, letter of reference, and a transcript of marks. Each student will present her portfolio as part of a job interview.
Students and parents are invited to attend a Post-Secondary Information Presentation hosted at St. Mary’s Academy where representatives from the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg and Red River College provide important information about high school admission requirements. Students also participate in the Rotary Career Symposium where they can acquire information and ask questions of professionals regarding numerous careers and fields of employment.
Writing the PSAT
We've been granted the ability to offer writing of the PSAT. This is a standardized test administered by the College Board in the United States. Writing the PSAT in Grade 10 provides valuable practice before students write the official SAT Assessment in Grade 11 or 12. This opportunity also helps students in obtaining higher assessment scores, which Universities in the USA use as an integral part of their application process. Grade 10 students can register for the PSAT through the Career Office.
In Grade 11, the career program focuses on university advisement and obtaining more details about post-secondary options. Information sessions are a major part of our approach. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the many presentations offered by post-secondary institutions and to explore deeper into online resources through the assistance of the Career Counsellor.
Students and parents are invited to attend the Evening of Excellence at the University of Manitoba, the Future Students Evening at the University of Winnipeg and the National Canadian University Fair to explore over 40 post-secondary institutions. St. Mary’s also hosts a Scholarship and Financing Post-Secondary Information Evening at the end of November. In February, all Grade 11 students take part in the day sessions at the University of Manitoba Open House and are encouraged to attend the evening session at the University of Winnipeg and Red River College. These events provide a valuable opportunity for students to gather information on the various faculties and programs, and to learn more about the transition to university from high school.
Grade 12 students are encouraged to continue making use of the university and career resources available to them and to meet individually with our Career Counsellor. Extensive information sharing about the admission process, assistance with online applications and applying for scholarships and awards is a key focus during advisement presentations. University personnel are also invited to meet with Grade 12 students to assist with the transition to university.