College Preparation is More Than Academics

We believe there are five essential skills that are critical to success in college, and success in life! These, combined with a rigorous academic program will prepare students for the college environment and equip them to successfully complete a four year program. Here at WCA we call them the "Five I's"!


Student must learn to take ownership of their education, not depending on their parents or their teachers to lead them at every step. Questions students should be asking include: How do I solve this problem? Am I waiting for someone else to start or act on my behalf.

Intellectual Curiosity

Students need to develop their own curiosity related to learning and education. If their only motivation in college is the degree itself, that won’t often provide enough “fuel” for the work that will be required. Questions students should be asking include: How do things work in this discipline? What are the connections among disciplines? Do I pursue knowledge as an adventure of discovery? Do I take intellectual risks?


An important part of the college experience occurs outside the classroom. Students are most successful when there are interests - academic and otherwise - that they are pursuing. Questions students should be asking include: What academic disciplines most intrigue me? What do I passionately pursue outside of academics?


Successfully completing college is all about executing a plan, semester by semester. Students need to know the plan and then, with purposeful intention, to work through it step by step. Questions students should be asking include: Do I approach academics and other interests with purposefulness, with an “academically serious” attitude? Do I set specific goals and work to attain them? Do I strive to do my best in all areas?


Surrounding and supporting all the other areas needs to be a fundamental commitment to integrity. Students need to understand that achieving goals in college, and all of life, are meaningless unless they accurately reflect their own work. Questions students should be asking include: Do I reverence God and respect his image in others, realizing all my actions and thoughts are known to him?

Show Colleges You are Prepared

Acquiring and demonstrating these qualities will not only prepare you for college, it will show colleges that you are prepared. As the most selective colleges are sorting through the piles of applications, they are looking for students that will be able to succeed in their programs. Of course, they will take a serious look at each student’s records to ensure they are academically prepared. However, they are also looking for demonstrations of the “Five I’s” types of skills as a critical element in that success formula.