Education is at the heart of every WorldStrides program. Our company started in 1967, with one teacher leading one class to one city, Washington, D.C., in order to see our nation’s capital for themselves and experience real learning through authentic experience.
Since then, we’ve grown to include a wide variety of experiential travel programs for students of all ages and passions – sports, science, theatre, performing arts, study abroad, career exploration, and more. And this growth has been fueled by educational integrity.
Our accreditation status – stamps of approval from Cognia (formerly AdvancED) WASC, and MSA-CESS, the same organizations that accredit K-12 schools across the country – is a testament to our own standards and evidence that they align with the same requirements for nearly every school in America.
We regularly renew our accreditation credentials. That means we never lose sight of the profound educational impact we offer our participants and those who lead them. That means we prioritize evaluating and evolving all of our programs to meet the needs of today’s classrooms and today’s students.
There is a student in every student-athlete. There is an educator in every coach and athletic director. Our programs aim to excite these student-athletes and coaches with new experiences on their chosen field of play, to present new challenges that take their game further – and our educational philosophy endeavors to take that growth further.
We call that philosophy Learning through Exploring and Actively Participating, or LEAP.
LEAP is designed to ensure that all students interact with their surroundings and are engaged with hands on activities, challenged to think critically from multiple points of view, and to grow personally and intellectually. In the Sports division, we encourage our student-athletes to pay close attention to how sports can grow their global perspective through their engagement with the new cultures and competition. This comes in many forms: sitting in a stadium of 50,000 signing soccer fans, playing a lacrosse game against a team in Ireland, or being trained by a coach of a professional academy program. There is enlightenment in experience.
Traveling from city to city, competing in games, training with coaches, visiting museums, participating in a service learning project – these are examples of student-athletes learn without direct instruction, without being “taught.” They develop confidence and skills not necessarily associated with the classroom, creating their own understanding of the world, its cultures and perspectives within. Read more about our LEAP philosophy here.
Using LEAP as a springboard, student-athletes can choose to reflect upon their learning and experiences and earn academic credit. By taking advantage of this opportunity, student-athletes not only can enhance their school careers, but also start a successful path to higher education.
Student-athletes in grades 6-12 at the time of travel can earn free high school credits.
Student-athletes in grades 9-12 at the time of travel are eligible to earn free College Preparatory Credits through UCSD-Extension.
Students-athletes can register for coursework before, during, or after the travel portion of the program. Upon successful completion, a transcript with a letter grade is mailed directly the student.
Student-athletes who enroll in our “Leadership & Character” course earn credit from a combination of a self-reflection of their trip experience and online coursework completed after their return, and we don’t just dole it out. That would run counter to our educational integrity and philosophy. On average, students can expect to complete the required course hours in two ways of instruction in two ways: in the field by trained, certified and licensed tour directors (the trip itself); and in an accompanying online course that includes multiple assessments of student learning, direct individualized teacher feedback, and engaging opportunities to demonstrate higher order thinking and applications of knowledge. Coursework is graded by our credentialed team of educators who support our student-athletes until they meet the requirements to earn their transcript.
The benefits of international travel are tremendous. And numerous. Simply put, it broadens minds and influences perspectives, especially for young people. Our company-wide focus on educational quality, supported by our accredited status and the opportunity it brings to earn academic credit, is not only unique in our world, it gives us all tremendous pride.
Jamie Kent is an Account Executive at WorldStrides Sports. Jamie joined the WorldStrides Excel team in January 2018. He brings a wealth of soccer knowledge and experience on the West Coast from his 15 years working in the youth soccer camps and training market, where he developed fantastic relationships and respect from professionals in the soccer industry. Passionate about the game he loves most, Jamie is excited to be able to help clubs, colleges and high schools provide international travel for their players to help broaden their horizons.