Get into the right college.
And get the very most out of it.

Nexa combines one-on-one academic and personal preparation with college selection, application, and scholarship assistance for students beginning in grade nine. Our four-year program has two goals: to help students get into the best possible college – and thrive once they arrive.

The Nexa model is a direct response to two inarguable realities: The admissions process has never been more competitive, and the transition from high school to college life has never been more difficult. The fact is, winning admission to a top-tier school is no guarantee of succeeding there. An alarmingly high percentage of first-year students arrive unprepared to navigate the academic and social challenges that await them. Nexa gives students the knowledge and skills they need to hit the ground running, get full value from their investment in education, and compete on equal footing against the best students from elite private schools. 

What distinguishes the Nexa student?

Dexterity, depth, and direction. By enhancing and adding to our students’ breadth of knowledge, and by cultivating the skills they’ll need to succeed in an entirely new environment, we give them the dexterity to handle whatever comes their way – academically and personally. By deepening their familiarity with college-level subject matter and teaching methodologies, we ensure they get more out of every class. And by working closely with students to identify their interests and strengths, Nexa instills a sense of direction that will speed their path to academic success, professional achievement, and personal satisfaction.

Objective 1: Getting you into the best school.

  • Assistance in finding the right college
    • Matching students’ interests and aptitudes to target colleges
    • Pairing students with alumni mentors
    • Mediating parental and student dynamics surrounding college selection and application; alleviating stress and uncertainty
  • SAT/ACT test-taking curriculum
    • Test simulations and strategies
    • Time management for test prep and test taking
    • Discipline-specific training for each part of the exam
    • Psychological preparation, including health and wellness strategies to reduce anxiety and pressure.
  • College application management
    • Essay coaching
    • Assistance in requesting letters of recommendation
    • Application tailoring for each school
    • Feedback from key college personnel
    • Letter of recommendation detailing the student’s accomplishments in the Nexa program
  • Assistance in identifying and applying for scholarships

Objective 2: Ensuring you thrive in college.

  • The Nexa Curriculum of college-level coursework
    • Fills the gaps in contemporary high school curriculum, providing students the academic grounding to excel from day one.
    • Is led by college/university faculty to guide and prepare students for college-level coursework.
    • Develops college-level academic and literacy skills by providing foundations in two streams: the “Western Civilization” canon of traditional university programs and a global approach to world literature, history, and philosophy.
    • Familiarizes students with the way college courses are taught and graded, minimizing the adjustment from high school to college-level teaching methodologies.
  • Preparation for college life
    • Focus on English language and composition skills
    • Cultivates essential study skills
      • Time management / optimizing study time
      • Effective reading
      • Efficient note taking
      • Research methodologies
      • Asking good questions
    • Maximizes educational and professional opportunities
      • Professional networking with professors, advisors, alumni, on-campus recruiters, and peers
      • Seizing internship opportunities
      • Participating in extra-curricular and volunteer activities
    • Provides orientation toward college/university culture
      • Making adult decisions
      • Commitments to academic and social issues
      • Wellness, safety, and consent
      • Appropriate language in academic settings
    • Determining academic direction
      • Cultivates skills to become a scholar in any discipline
      • Assists students in finding their academic/professional “calling”

The Nexa Curriculum™

Rather than read Homer, Sophocles, and Plato for the first time in college, Nexa students arrive with foundational works in their repertoire, ready to discuss, critique, and write about them in a scholarly manner. Combining deep and structured reading experiences with academic skill preparation, Nexa’s four-year curriculum integrates three areas of focus:

1. Foundations of the university canon. The importance of knowing the traditional “Great Works,” or “Western Civilization,” canon cannot be understated. Nexa students will learn to think critically about the canon, and to speak to the problematic tropes associated with these scholarly traditions. Sample authors: Plato, Virgil, Euripides, Dante, Chaucer, Copernicus, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Ibsen, Kafka, and Brecht.

2. Global perspectives. Universities have more recently embraced indigenous, post-colonial, and diasporic traditions as central to understanding human history, philosophy, literature, sciences and arts. Nexa students will be exposed to foundational works including Gilgamesh, the Abrahamic texts, the Mahabharata, and ancient poetic texts. Students will also be introduced to writers including Garcia Marquez, Yehoshua, Avicenna, Camus, Borges, and Lu Xun.

3. Academic literacy skills for college. The Nexa Curriculum hones students’ skills in reading, research, and writing at a college level; cultivates critical thinking about history, religion, philosophy, literature, sciences, and the arts; teaches students to think like a scholar; and builds their interdisciplinary and discipline-specific skills.


Grade 9101112
Study skills
Test-taking strategies
Scholarship assistance
Researching colleges
Preparing for college

The Nexa Difference

Most college preparatory programs are led by people who are far removed from the day-to-day college experience. Nexa was founded by Dr. Kirstin Bratt, a college professor, program director, and department head who focuses specifically on helping students make the adjustment from high school to college. Drawing on up-to-the-minute knowledge of the contemporary college environment, including the stumbling blocks that can place new students at a disadvantage relative to better-prepared peers, she has created Nexa College Connect to provide students a path to college, and the tools to succeed there.