What is Options? How does the process work? When should you start? Find answers to our most commonly asked questions below.
Options Solutions is a full-service educational consulting company that helps students, ages 14-24, make a broad range of educational decisions. Our main areas of expertise include post-secondary advising (including Canada, the US, the UK, and Europe/Australia), adolescent interest exploration, writing support, and group educational support services. We welcome all students and their families to our practice; Options is a place for everyone.
For most students (who are considering Canada or the UK), we recommend they begin the exploratory process in the middle of grade 10. This allows them to do some pre-thinking before they have to pick their school courses for grade 11. This is also the time many students start wondering about life after high school and is a nice complement to the work they are usually completing in their Career-Life Education class. If your student is interested in attending a US institution, we recommend they begin the process in grade 9, as the US process starts far earlier than the Canadian or UK process does.
Every initial session starts with an initial interview that establishes family/student objectives & goals, gathers background information, and sets boundaries and values for the exploration process. We encourage parents to attend the first session, as this is where boundaries and values are set. We also recognize that some students want to handle this process on their own, and we respect this decision. Every session concludes with the construction of an action plan: a concrete list of next steps for the student and family to take before their next appointment. We offer both in-person and virtual appointments.
Initial appointments and follow-up appointments are scheduled for one hour, and are billed at the consultant’s hourly rate. We require full payment after each individual session. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and AMEX. Please note that Options Solutions has a strict 48-hour cancellation policy for all individual and group sessions, and that any individual or group session cancelled fewer than 48 business hours in advance with be assessed the full cost of the session.
Whether a student has a clear idea of their future plans or they are looking to learn about their options, our educational consultants meet students where they are at in the exploratory process. At our offices, it’s okay (and natural) for students to be unsure of their next steps. Our consultants are equipped with a number of tools to help students who are struggling to identify their interests and strengths find the best fit. No specific tasks need to be completed before an appointment; we encourage students and their families to book an appointment when they’re ready to start the conversation about life after high school!
When scheduling your initial appointment, our front desk staff will collect some basic information about the student, but feel free to share any background information (eg. learning challenges, IEP, psycho-educational assessment, etc) you feel is important for the educational consultant to know before the session. Report cards and resumes or a list of activities also can provide context for the student’s specific profile.
The number of sessions needed is dependent on a student’s goals. As a general rule, we encourage grade 10/11 students to have an appointment once every three to four months, and 12 students to have an appointment each month in grade 12 to ensure the process is handled in a timely and efficient manner. After your initial session, your consultant will be able to give you an accurate recommendation for appointment scheduling, based on the student’s specific needs and goals.
We help all students! Our students are unique and diverse, and each one is on their own individual path to success. We approach this process with a team-based mindset, and can accommodate students with a wide range of academic and learning backgrounds (including students with learning differences, IEP, etc). We also recognize that every student has their own timeline, so we are happy to meet with anyone under the age of 24 in order to help them assess their career and educational options and paths. Our graduate school, law school, and med school consultants are available to meet with post-secondary students who want to explore specific graduate or masters level programs.
The role of an Options Solutions educational consultant is to work with students by exploring, evaluating, and constructing progressive action plans for the future, based on their individual strengths, values, and interests. During each session, our consultants empower and guide young adults and their families, leading them towards their goals. Our consultants are also task managers and cheerleaders, ensuring that students are well-supported, energized and motivated throughout the entire process.
The role of an Options Solutions writing coach is to work with students to improve their reading, writing, and executive functioning; coaches identify students’ strengths in order to help them overcome their challenges. With their coaching mindset, writing coaches help students build their skills sets and their confidence in every session.