At the recently-held CGA Global Open Day, founder Jamie Beaton talked about the five problems CGA helps solve for students looking for a quality education. Read on to find out why an online school is better than a traditional school.
While traditional school remain the main way for students to gain education, there are some problems with the model of a brick-and-mortar school. Namely, these schools are not able to provide a tailored learning experience to each student. Crimson Global Academy recently hosted its biggest Global Open Day on June 19. Listen to what Jamie Beaton says are some of the main problems that online schools help resolve.
CGA is a great source of joy and pride for all of us as we see our students from all corners of the world taking on education and striving to be the best, they can be on the world stage. I grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, and education helped transform my life taking me all the way to Harvard, Stanford – to the US and the UK – unlocking pathways for entrepreneurship and beyond. My goal with CGA is to help you achieve this for your own future.
As I went through high school, education was always a big passion in my life. My family, my parents always grew up with this as a constant reminder that this was a ticket to opportunity to personal growth. However, as I went through high school, I found that traditional high school classes could be limiting and I couldn’t always take the subjects that I wanted. Also, I couldn’t go at the speed that I wanted. I wanted to make sure that I could secure my future, so I used all these different tutors around me in subjects like Math, English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and French and sat to accelerate and actually get through a lot of content far faster than normal to help make time for other opportunities.
This strategy over several years helped me to build a great profile. I applied to many of the world’s best schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, Oxford and Cambridge and got into various programs. This experience opened my eyes to the idea that this untraditional path that I’d walked through high school actually could be really effective for many more students beyond myself.
As I got to Harvard, I met many of my classmates and recently I met a few of them again at my five-year reunion. One thing that always strikes me is that many of these students that make it to these great schools like Harvard or Stanford are those who are rebellious in the education system – not in the way of breaking the rules necessarily, as like not turning up, but breaking the norms around how fast you go through school, what subjects you take, and when to take exams. That’s what we try and encourage at CGA!
Through my time at Harvard, I was able to use many of the same strategies from high school to graduate two years ahead of schedule and launch Crimson to help guide students all around the world to reach their full potential by getting into global universities. I really firmly believe that through top international curriculum and global education, students can tap into amazing career paths and we’ve seen that now for nearly a decade.
My educational adventures took me next to Stanford and that’s where I came across the idea of online high schools for the very first time. I came across a top educator called Tomihiro Hoshi who had been developing an online high school at Stanford for the best part of 15 years and I came across many of the interesting learning models he had been pioneering at Stanford. I began to meet many international classmates who were going through the MBA program with a vision to create change and it inspired me to think bigger and think beyond the college admissions coaching that we were building at Crimson for many years and to take our vision to the next step and how we can support students through the launch of Crimson Global Academy.
In an effort to make this school as strong as possible for students around the world I went to Oxford where I did my PhD on the Rhodes Scholarship looking at what drives student outcomes and student satisfaction in online schooling and that’s led us to engineer our pedagogy in a way that best supports our students both holistically with aspects like mental health to extracurricular growth all the way through to academic acceleration which really is the core of CGA’s ethos.
Over the last several years I’ve had the opportunity to spend some great time with many of our leading advisors like Tomihiro, who built the Stanford school from scratch, as well as education heavyweights like Larry Summers, my thesis advisor at Harvard who was the former president of Harvard university. Many of these folks have got brilliant perspective into how traditional education has been conducted but through the combination of their wisdom and insight and Crimson’s platform and skills and education technology we’ve been able to bring to the world Crimson Global Academy.
CGA combines many of the insights from leading government folks, leading technology innovators, leading entrepreneurs from different corners of the world. We’re lucky to have folks on board like John Key, the former New Zealand prime minister, Kevin Rudd, the former Australian prime minister, and many innovative young entrepreneurs that are trying to bring revolutionary high school education to families all over the world. This translated to now almost two and a half years of really exciting online learning
Today we’re seeing students from more than 40 countries around the globe and one thing that captivated me at Harvard and Stanford was that I was surrounded by global peers that inspired me to think bigger, dream bigger and challenge myself. The idea of our high school is that you sit in classes with peers from all different corners of the world, you join debate clubs, robotics clubs, engineering societies, investing clubs and you debate these different ideas with folks from all these different backgrounds, stimulating you to become a global citizen and to challenge yourself to reach your full potential. Now with CGA we’re really thinking about how a student from any corner of the world can get the necessary international qualifications, training and support they need to make their career and future ambitions a reality.
Traditional schooling has a number of problems:
- A lot of the time students sit in class unengaged. Classes are either too slow or too fast but it’s not moving at the right pace for them.
- Secondly, it’s very hard for physical schools to recruit elite teachers because their pool has to be teachers that live geographically close to that school.
- And finally, a lot of the inspiration from education has been lost in traditional schools because there are very few folks in a traditional high school that can tell young people about the types of careers that are really transforming the world. Many of my peers from Harvard and Stanford are working at the forefront of industries like artificial intelligence, venture capital, and biotechnology. They are going and leading innovative social change movements and these are not the types of careers you hear about in a traditional high school and as a result many students are disengaged because they don’t see their ambitions mapped to what they’re hearing about in school.
CGA deals with all of these different challenges systematically.
- We bring students together across our global academy.
- We bring them many of the world’s top teachers from leading institutions like Eton and from some of the top schools in Australia, New Zealand and advisors from places like Harvard and Stanford.
- We use our innovative technology team of more than 50 full-time product managers, engineers, and data scientists to create an effective online learning environment.
- We invest heavily in our career guidance and college counseling given our experience sending more than 500 kids to the Ivy Leagues over the last decade. We help young people with their high stake’s moments, including university choice, extracurricular choice and subject choice to get the best out of their education.
- Our students are free to move through grades at whatever speed they want. If they have the ability to complete an A Level in Math two years early, we’d encourage them on. If they want to take an A Level in Business Studies on top and make that their sixth or seventh A Level, we’ll cheer them on as well. We believe students can usually go a lot faster than traditional schools allow and we believe in them to reach that potential through the intense learning environment that our teachers at CGA foster.
All of this translates to an exceptional track record at getting students into these leading universities. Over the last several years we’ve sent about 50 kids to Harvard, about 49 kids to Yale, over 100 kids to UPenn and over 140 kids to Oxford and Cambridge. We know what these schools are looking for and in a very systematic way we’re able to train our students across academics, extracurriculars, leadership and in areas like interviewing and their personal statements to help them achieve these goals and unlock their potential.
It’s been this personal experience as well as the journey of seeing thousands of our kids over a decade that has really manifested Crimson Global Academy. We really believe in helping our students achieve a rigorous foundation of both Math and English and then using these foundations for being one to two years ahead in these core subjects to take a wide variety of other subjects whether it be Computer Science, Economics and even initiatives like A Level Law which is quite novel.
Our mission is simple: to provide students from any corner of the world the platform they need to be able to access a world-class high school education, give them well-recognized international curriculum in the A Levels and AP, and world-renowned university guidance to help them jump into the careers they aim to.
We started CGA in 2020 with just 26 students and 13 teachers. And now, two years later, we’ve passed 800 students and these are not just any regular students — these students are ambitious, they’re passionate and they are committed to making the world a better place and achieving these ambitious career goals every step of the way they are empowered by nearly 100 teaching faculty from around the world which we hand select based on their track record of success with an average of 20 years of experience. And this is also supported by a wide range of subjects so we offer — both the APs, the American curriculum, and A Levels of British curriculum to give you the full flexibility you need to achieve those goals.
With students across more than 30 countries we really espouse the global in Crimson Global Academy!