Getting to Know ISHCMC – American Academy
ISHCMC – American Academy is Vietnam’s leading American secondary school. Based in Ho Chi Minh City, the School prides itself on its community of bright, motivated learners in Grades 6 to 12, who join from other international, bilingual, and public schools.
Alongside a reputation for academic excellence, the School helps its students build the skills they need for life in the 21st century. Personal development in areas including language, resilience, and all-round well-being ensures ISHCMC – American Academy students graduate as bright and responsible young people who are well prepared for the next phase of their educational or professional careers.
Here is an overview of the School’s values, academic philosophy, pastoral care, and direction of growth for the next five years.
Values: Positive, Caring, Engaged
The School has three core values that guide its approach to education and inform both its short- and long-term goals: to be positive, caring, and engaged. This is evident in the School’s positive approach to life, which is based on a sustainable growth mindset; its emphasis on care and kindness within the School environment and beyond; and the engagement of pupils with the wider world around them. The result is a student population of conscientious global citizens who are ready for whatever modern life has to offer.
Families choose ISHCMC – American Academy for a number of reasons. Topping the list is the School’s delivery of a high-quality American-style education, its promotion of intercultural respect and collaboration, and the fact that it offers English as the language of instruction. Students receive impressive academic and language support and cultivate a lifelong passion for learning.
An ISHCMC – American Academy diploma enables graduates to gain entrance to quality international institutions of higher learning, including options within Vietnam, and each student receives a substantial level of support from the School as they complete their college research and applications.
Outside the classroom, the School offers a broad program of extracurricular activities, including the student council, the community-minded global issues network, and the board game club. Students also enjoy keeping active and channeling team spirit with competitive sports like volleyball, basketball, soccer, and badminton.
The School has a strong academic philosophy regarding the content of its curriculum and how teachers deliver lessons. The curriculum takes its lead from American and international academic standards and, while based on the U.S. Common Core or American Education Reaches Out (AERO) framework, remains flexible and responsive to the goals and needs of students.
High school students have access to college-level courses through Advanced Placement (AP) and Syracuse University (SUPA) that allow them to build a unique pathway toward graduation based on their own skills and interests. ISHCMC – American Academy is the first and only school in Vietnam to offer a comprehensive SUPA curriculum.
The School’s faculty comprises highly motivated and experienced teachers from around the world, each of whom has a minimum of five years’ teaching experience and holds credentials from their home country, plus a bachelor’s degree. Some have even higher qualifications, with 70% holding master’s or doctoral degrees in their respective subjects. Teachers use a range of methods in their classrooms to understand and support the needs of each student.
All this translates into academic success for pupils. In 2021, over 95% of ISHCMC – American Academy’s high school students achieved above grade level Math and more than 70% achieved above grade level English in the twice-yearly MAP assessments.
In 2022, 61% of Grade 6 to 10 students scored above the U.S. average in reading tests, and 82% of students scored around the U.S. average in math tests. The pass rate for students who sat AP exams was 60% higher than the world average. Of those 82 students, 31 (more than 40%) earned top scores of 4 and 5, and 15 (20%) earned the highest possible score of 5, considered “extremely well qualified to receive college credit.” 100% of the graduating class are accepted into their top 3 schools and universities.
Career Guidance and Cultivating Internationalism
Beyond academic standards, the School endeavors to build the skills and mindsets students need to lead successful and meaningful lives. The core goal of an ISHCMC – American Academy education is the development of character and community, fostering mindsets that support learning, internationalism, and well-being for all. Learning experiences at the School build students’ knowledge and understanding of the world and help them develop future-proofed skills and habits that will bring them success in whatever country they choose to live, learn, and work.
Looking beyond their time with the School, students receive extensive higher education and career guidance to establish the best possible chance for future success. The journey of exploration begins in middle school, when students investigate career paths to suit their interests and strengths.
In high school, advisory teachers help students research college options and understand the necessary entry requirements they need to aim for. The School’s dedicated college and careers counselor meets students and families to support their college research and individual application processes. Teachers also write letters of recommendation, and the School issues transcripts and reports to colleges and universities around the world.
Pastoral Care and Counseling
The School appeals to many families due to its inclusive environment, with a strong focus on student well-being and mental health. ISHCMC – American Academy boasts a strong pastoral care system that ensures each student feels valued and nurtured as an individual. New students can expect a warm welcome with a half day of orientation, an assigned student buddy, and regular check-ins with the school counselor.
On top of this, every student is a member of an advisory class, a small community of peers who meet daily with their advisor. The purpose of the advisory classes is to build community and character while supporting academic achievement and well-being.
Behind the scenes, teachers meet in grade-level teams to track student well-being and academic progress. Additionally, the School has three counselors who support students with social or emotional difficulties and mental health concerns.
Past and Future Triumphs
ISHCMC – American Academy has achieved some impressive milestones. In 2017, the School received re-accreditation with the New England Association of School and Colleges (NEASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). These accreditations recognize the School’s institutional quality in achieving and delivering the highest standards in international education, with a dedication to continually improving the outcomes of student learning.
More recently, the School beat off competition from other top educational institutions worldwide to become the 2022 Safeguarding Award Winner at the ISC Research International School Awards.
Past successes aside, within the next five years, ISHCMC – American Academy plans to expand its Outdoor Education program for middle and high school students and widen overseas offerings for student summer leadership enrichment programs in the U.S. The campus will see new construction, and there are proposals for greater opportunities for student voices to be heard in leadership roles.
The School promises huge growth in the area of higher education study too. Alongside expanding the number of SUPA and AP courses offered year on year, the expansion of the University Counseling Program will mean securing more placements than ever to universities in the U.S., with networks growing in Canada and Australia.
The School also plans to increase the number of students awarded scholarships to their top-choice universities. That’s good news for parents looking to invest in an education that will serve their children not only up until the end of their time at school, but for life.
About ISHCMC – American Academy
ISHCMC – American Academy is Vietnam’s foremost American international secondary school for students aged 11-18. Internationally recognized for its pupils’ academic excellence in an American-style education, the School’s students grow into respectful, globally minded individuals who pursue higher education pathways at top schools and universities in Vietnam, the U.S., and elsewhere. The School is unique in Vietnam for offering university-level courses through the Syracuse University Project Advance and Advanced Placement, giving children unparalleled competitive advantage in their educational ambitions.
Above academic accomplishment, the School empowers students to reach their potential in all endeavors, including the arts, sports, and technology. 100% English language immersion accompanies an extensive Vietnamese Studies Program to ensure students maintain an appreciation for and connection to their mother tongue and cultural heritage.
Learn more about ISHCMC – American Academy.
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