Jamie Beaton, the co-founder and CEO of Crimson Global Academy, is a true education visionary. He founded Crimson, the world’s leading university admissions support company, in 2013 after applying to 25 of the world’s best universities and being accepted to all of them. At the recent CGA Open Day he talked about what 5 issues CGA aims to resolve.
To learn more about Beaton and his personal journey, as well as his vision for Crimson, you can read a letter from Beaton here.
High school, and education generally, is the most critical thing for the next generation of our young people. The key question we were trying to answer was, “How do you systematically build the most effective high school for this next generation of ambitious kids so that they can be equipped for the exciting future they have ahead of them?”
When answering this question, we saw that traditional schools have a lot of gaps. Crimson Global Academy was designed to solve this challenge and to bring families around the world a true Ivy League caliber high school education, from anywhere in the world.
When you go to a place like Harvard or Stanford, you have the world's best you have professors who are top of their game teaching your classes. But in high school you don't have that. Typically, you only have access to teachers who happen to live near where the school is, which means that even if they're really good, there's a real constraint in the kind of talent the school can actually hire. Crimson Global Academy is able to recruit the world's best teachers from all over the world. So whether you live in the middle of Waikiki Island, or you live in Okinawa in Japan, you can actually tap into phenomenal teachers through our network.
In today's era, many ambitious students who go to the world's best universities are embarking on careers in computer science, data science, or technology. This requires a masterful knowledge of technology and how it impacts the world. As such, it’s important to have a high school that gives students access to both a leading digital environment, and also a rigorous curriculum that gives exposure to subjects such as Computer Science and Math. CGA offers these subjects through our A-level curriculum. Classes are taught by teachers who are really savvy and passionate about their young people learning these skills.
To navigate all of the world's top careers and universities, requires very intricate knowledge. It requires knowledge of the kind of skills these top companies are hiring for, as well as, the kinds of criteria these elite universities are admitting for. Most high schools just don't have that kind of career guidance. At CGA, we have experts that have helped our students navigate to many of the world's top companies and top universities. And that helps to give our students this world-class acceleration environment for them to achieve whatever they want to do on the world stage.
Many students go to high school without knowing important concepts such as entrepreneurship are. It’s only till much later on when they get exposed to this big world of opportunity. But it would have been so much more exciting and beneficial if students were exposed to these concepts from the age of 11,12, or 13. In a CGA classroom, students have peers from all over the world who are equally ambitious and driven, leading to a more worldly high school experience.
At CGA, students can move through school based on their ability, not their age. This means that if you're really sharp in Math, you could study it one or two years ahead of your school year. Many students have to go through every subject at the same speed just because of their age, which is very arbitrary. On a global scale, students in certain countries are learning many years ahead of kids in other countries. Therefore, having this kind of age-based notion isn't very logical. At CGA, we have world-class diagnostics built by data scientists from places like Harvard and Stanford and checked by leading educators, which is then continuously used to make sure our students are being placed into the right classes.
Many traditional high schools don't necessarily put a lot of focus on just how high-stakes education is. But at Crimson, we've seen our students go from parts of the world, like Hamilton to launch multi-million dollar companies in the middle of Silicon Valley. We've seen students launch impactful global social impact campaigns, and go on to careers at Facebook at Google at Goldman Sachs. We recognize how high-stakes education is, and Crimson Global Academy is here to support that ambition.
CGA is also very powerful because when you actually join our online classes, you're actually sitting in a class full of other ambitious students just like you who want to take advantage of the future. In every one of our classes, you're encouraged to speak, to debate to participate, to come prepared. At many Ivy Leagues, students get called upon in every class to speak. This means that you've got to be more prepared. You've got to be able to articulate yourself verbally, you've got to come with opinions and perspectives. And that's challenging, it's scary, it's intimidating. But bringing that all together actually in the high school years makes you so much more effective as a learner and as a citizen because you're able to speak with a lot more confidence.
Many students go to high school and take the average number of subjects that everyone else is studying. For A-levels, this is typically 3-4 subjects.
It's very important for students to leave high school with a strong grounding across STEM, humanities, and some exposure to entrepreneurship, business, and economics. Because whatever they're doing in life, they're going to be exposed to these things inevitably.
At CGA, you're not only getting international qualifications. You're also able to take more subjects than traditional schools and you’re able to stagger them over more years. This means that you actually build a stronger profile, so you can get into more of these top universities, and you can stay within your home country and be better prepared for future endeavors.
Are you confused about what subjects to focus on? Going very deep in Math and English is critical to your success. Many students are disengaged from Maths & English because of a previous bad teaching experience they’ve had. However, it’s crucial that students focus on these subjects early to build the foundations required for academic success.
For Jamie Beaton, going deep into Maths and English enabled him to go to places like Harvard and Stanford and actually do really well against his classmates from top American and British schools. His foundations in English let him do well in liberal arts programs, and also do well in things like Public Policy.
Before you start spreading your focus, building these deep foundations of Maths and English is critical. With Crimson Global Academy, we do a lot of testing in these two subjects. We make sure you have all these fundamentals nailed. And we help you progress through a very rigorous curriculum, which can go all the way up to further Mathematics if you want to challenge yourself to that level.
Most high schools don't necessarily carve the pathway for students to connect what they're doing now to their future career goals and aspirations.
CGA isn't about serving only high IQ students from the get-go. It’s about serving any student with the potential and equipping them with all the resources we have to help them unlock their full potential.
CGA is indeed a school for everybody. It is one that really values ambition, and will rally behind your child as they find those different strengths throughout those critical high school years.
This is actually one of the most popular reasons why families choose CGA. The NCEA curriculum is not a very internationally competitive curriculum. It's about one and a half to two years behind some of these global standards. So many of our families come to take the British A levels or the American AP curriculum.
This gives you a qualification which is recognized around the world. You can now graduate high school and compete anywhere in the world. Top universities will recognize what you're applying with. So we have carefully chosen two of the most well recognized, well respected, rigorous international curricula, and that enables you to have that passport, these top universities.
So it's very common for students to be going to a local public school and doing their national curriculum or a local private school doing that national curriculum, then using crimson global Academy to take those extra A levels or APS outside of school to really supercharge their ability.
Crimson Global Academy is designed to make sure that you're as competitive as possible for the world’s opportunities. But of course, naturally, you become very competitive for local university pathways. Many of our students end up studying at local universities.
The key thing about Crimson Global Academy is about giving you options. It's about making sure that there's no door you can't walk through if you want to. So you'll of course have the option to go to your local universities. Through our rigorous career guidance programs and track record of success on the world stage, we have the capabilities to give the kind of guidance you need.
Many of our students do go to local universities, but we have the capability to really bring you to the global stage if you do want that. So that's really going to be all about giving you options and that flexibility. That's what we really love to do at CGA.