DX in School Education – Cutting Edge Education to Expand Student Potential
Crimson Global Academy (also known as “CGA”) is operated by Crimson Education, an international preparatory school that supports students who wish to enter universities abroad. Every year, CGA sends many students from all over the world to prestigious top universities such as Harvard and Stanford University. We interviewed Yusuke Matsuda about CGA’s cutting-edge innovative education and his commitment to DX (Digital transformation: the concept of transforming people’s lives for the better by incorporating advanced IT technology) in student’s education.
President of Crimson Global Academy Japan. Former Associate Professor at Kyoto University and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. Expert in global human resource development. A graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Education and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Author of “The Classroom I’d Rather Work In Than Google Disney” (Diamond Inc.)
Quality education for students around the world
– What kind of company is Crimson Education Japan, and what kind of services does the company provide?
Crimson Education Japan operates two businesses in Japan: Crimson Education, a preparatory school for overseas university admissions, and Crimson Global Academy (CGA), an online international school accredited by the New Zealand government and US WASC. The global high school has introduced several internationally recognized curriculums including, International GCSEs, International A-Levels, Advanced Placement, and WASC-accredited curricula in the United States.
Crimson Education is a preparatory school for students with ambitions to study at an overseas university. The company currently holds 30 locations worldwide and has university admissions consultants from all around the world, with former admissions officers from the ivy leagues and oxbridge. The company also has over 2,400 tutors who based in different timezones and 650 full time staff to support students with their application.
With our world-wide support system, we accompany students to not only world-class universities in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Europe, but also guide students to apply for their ‘Best Fit Schools’ (schools that are best suited for the student).
A student-first approach to provide thorough support for student’s learning and building an excellent academic profile
-What other learning opportunities does CGA offer besides the international curriculum?
CGA is embellished with learning opportunities beyond the an international curriculum.
CGA students attend three hours of classes per day which opens up time for more than six hours of extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities are designed to give students the freedom to explore their areas of interest, and CGA maximizes these opportunities. We offer a myriad of club activities, including Crimson Code for programming, a Model United Nations club, a game development club, an investment club, as well as club activities that aim for international competitions such as the Math Olympiad. You can also start activities based on your own interests. Since students are based all over the world, the experience of starting capstone projects and clubs with their peers adds a valuable experience, and teachers and staff will do their best to support you.
For example, one student took a coding class and interned at Uber, a well known transportation company. Students who are interested in the STEM field will have opportunities to specialize in data science and intern at top tech companies.
In addition, some students have formed their own clubs, participated in competitions such as the Math Olympiad and Model United Nations, and started an organization to address the problem of plastics in the oceans.
We have also partnered with Bizreach, an established employment support company, as a unique initiative of our Japanese subsidiary, because overseas university career centers are strong in this area. When students graduate from overseas universities and wish to find employment in Japan, we provide them with information and assistance.
CGA encourages students’ to explore their interests, and supports them by mentoring their passions into potential career paths. We are proud to say that no other school can provide such extensive support for students’ learning and their future.
-What are some measures the company has taken to reduce student attrition in online learning?
To prevent students from discontinuing their learning or getting lost along the way, parents are able to view student attendance, class work, and assignments daily.
In existing schools, grade reports can be viewed roughly once every three months, however at CGA, students’ learning reports can be viewed daily.
We look at the learning data and alert students to the status of their efforts. Our academic staff provides opportunities to meet with parents and students, and we have a psychologist on staff to take care of students’ emotional needs.
Parents have commented that if they have concerns about their child’s academic performance, they can sit beside them and listen to the class. This allows them to see first hand how their child’s progressing.
Opportunities to study with students diverse nationalities and backgrounds
-What kind of students are enrolled in CGA?
CGA’s student body is diverse, spanning 30 different nationalities. In descending order, the most common are New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Russia, UAE, South Africa, and other Asian countries.
For Japanese students, the time difference between the U.S.-based timeline makes it difficult to attend classes, but since we have locations in New Zealand, the U.S., and the U.K., we are able to offer classes at times that are convenient for students in Japan.
When I meet with potential families, some Japanese parents worry that if we divide students into groups based on English ability alone, they will end up in groups with only Japanese students, but the groups are almost all native-English speakers.
We divide students into classes based on a comprehensive assessment of English and math abilities, taking into account the student’s nationalities, therefore there are no classes that are soley composed of Japanese students. We consciously diversify the nationalities of our classes to create a multicultural environment for our students.
In addition to nationalities, many students’ come from various walks of life. There are students who are athletes and take classes at CGA between practices, students who attend classes while they travel around the world on yachts with their families, students who usually attend school in Japan and take CGA classes after school, and more!
CGA is conscious of accessibility, so students can access CGA’s learning from anywhere.
To participate in learning at CGA
-What is the best age to enroll in CGA?
It is difficult to be self-disciplined if you are not mentally mature. For example, in online-based classes and discussions, it is sometimes important to read the atmosphere of the situation to know when to speak up. We are checking to see if students are willing to learn autonomously beyond their age.
Existing schools are like factories, where lessons are designed around a timeline, and learning is done by students sitting there, even if they are not autonomous.
However, In the case of CGA, students must manage their own daily learning by logging into their personal computers, selecting classes that interest them, and submitting assignments on their own.
CGA accepts students from the age of 8, but the volume zone of students is from upper elementary to early middle school, ages 10-14. Age 15 is the beginning of the International GCSE, so we would like students to be enrolled by then.
-What do I need to do to prepare before entering CGA?
We believe that strategic preparation from an early stage will help a child reach his or her full potential, and we ask that students prepare three things before starting CGA.
(1) English and typing skills
There are many different online English conversation services around the world. We highly encourage students to speak and listen to English for at least 30 minutes every day.
In addition to reading and Eiken preparation, many elementary school students are unfamiliar with computer typing, so we would like students to actively practice typing English sentences so that they can adjust smoothly to online classes.
Mathematical processing skills are the foundation of all studies. Whether you are studying science or interested in liberal arts subjects such as economics or business, you will always need numerical processing skills.
Please do not follow the pace of your current school, but learn ahead of time. Math is something that can be acquired through repetition, so choose materials that are easy to work on through self-study and get to a level where you are ahead of your current grade group.
(3) Explore what you love!
We want each student at CGA to have something they are passionate about and proud of. We believe that exploring each individual’s interest is an opportunity to increase their sense of self-esteem. Therefore, I want each student to ask themselves what they love and would like to thoroughly explore before entering CGA. This will lead to more future career choices and strengths.
-When can students enroll at CGA? Can students take a trial class?
There are three enrollment timings per year (September, January, and June).
After hearing about your child’s learning situation at the enrollment counseling session, you may choose to participate in our monthly trial classes.
We also offer a summer program in June, so if the international school or boarding school your child attends is on summer break, they can join us during the break.
Our vision is to nurture as many of the next generation as possible to take on challenges abroad.
We also offer scholarships for students who are motivated and talented but are unable to participate due to their family’s financial situation.
-What are your future prospects?
By using technology to bring learning to a place of efficiency and quality, we want to continue to innovate student’s academic learning and extracurricular activity opportunities.
CGA will always put the student first. While valuing the student’s attitude toward learning above all else, we will continue to put more time and effort into the essential aspects of education to produce a rigorous level of academic achievement.
We will continue to lead children in Japan and abroad as a frontrunner in the constant search for the next step in education.
Image: Crimson Education Japan
Interviewer: Kaori Takahashi (eduJUMP!)