THINK Global School (TGS) has received its three-year initial accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). WASC, based in Northern California, is one of six regional associations in the United States responsible for accrediting public and private schools, as well as colleges and universities.
The initial accreditation will allow TGS to issue WASC high school diplomas to its graduating classes at the completion of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years. TGS students will also continue to study the International Baccalaureate curriculum in pursuit of their IB Diplomas, and sit for the IB exams at the end of 12th grade.
“Everyone in our school community recognizes the wonderful progress our students make every day in developing both their intellect and their global citizenship,” says Joann McPike, the Bahamas-based photographer and founder of THINK Global School. “The WASC accreditation builds on our previous IB authorization, and gives us another good way to let the world know about their achievements at our school.”
THINK Global School is the world’s first traveling boarding school, offering students the unique opportunity to study an authorized International Baccalaureate Program curriculum in twelve different international cities over the course of their four high school years. No other school offers Biology class in the Galapagos Islands, Mandarin class at the Great Wall of China, and History class at the Brandenburg Gate. The school’s student body is also truly global, representing twenty countries of citizenship and a diverse range of talents, experiences, and interests.
TGS has been an official WASC candidate school since 2010, and has worked to integrate its unique educational model with WASC’s mission to help schools “create the highest quality learning experience they can envision for all students.” WASC reviews the school’s progress during a probationary candidacy period, and then sends a visiting committee to conduct on-site evaluation prior to approving the initial three-year accreditation. Dr. Sally Booth, who is the Head of Curriculum for TGS and spearheaded the accreditation process, notes that the WASC team was impressed with the way that TGS students connected their studies to real-world issues of global significance.
Alun Cooper, THINK Global School’s newly appointed Head of School, says the WASC process has been particularly valuable in helping TGS measure its outcomes in a more precise way. “Because our school is the only one of its kind in the world, we are charting new territory. A rigorous evaluation program like this ensures that we are indeed providing a truly transformative education for our students.”
THINK Global School is currently on its summer hiatus, and will begin the 2012-13 academic year on September 1 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, before traveling to Boston in January.