Program Leader Spotlight: World Scholars AcademyPosted January 27, 2022, 12:00 am by
Dr. Gerard Dericks is the director of World Scholars Academy, which offers elite summer courses designed and taught by world-leading professional scholars. To learn more about World Scholars Academy click HERE.
What Type of Programs Does World Scholars Academy Offer?
World Scholars Academy offers academic summer programs designed and taught by world-leading professional scholars. Courses are delivered online and on-location in Hawaii for ages 12-18 in Business, Medicine, Law, Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Leadership, Career Exploration, and the English Language.
What Do You Hope Students Will Achieve By Attending World Scholars Academy?
Students at World Scholars Academy have the opportunity to acquire elite insights into their chosen discipline. You might think that most of the fields of economics, medicine, or law is settled, but in fact there remains a great deal that is often misunderstood, even by apparent experts. So not only are we giving kids tools to achieve higher levels of success in their disciplines, but we are also setting them up to understand the world much better than they would have if they had learned these subjects from just about anybody else. They are then going to take that knowledge and make both their lives and their communities better for it.
Furthermore, learning from a high-level expert in their field, students are able to grow their self-confidence and develop the belief that they too can achieve similar levels of academic success. We aim to inspire our students to want to learn more and achieve more. Success is never achieved without a lifelong dedication to learning. Through our one-on-one tutorials we impart actionable knowledge on how to get to the next step of that journey, including clarity on what students want to study at university and what to focus on while they are there. Bringing these goals into reality for our students continually inspires me and is something that I am extremely proud of at World Scholars Academy.
What Inspired You to Take On A Leadership Role At World Scholars Academy?
I have always resonated with the classical spirit of the Renaissance and valued the learning of timeless principles over transitory fads. It is increasingly hard to find academic institutions that pay more than lip service to the higher classical ideals such as an emphasis on reason, skepticism and learning to think independently, aspiring towards a high standard of living, and bettering yourself through education. Raphael’s fresco The School of Athens featuring Plato and his leading disciple Aristotle surrounded by scientific luminaries throughout history has served as inspiration for the type of environment that I want to cultivate for students at World Scholars Academy.
Describe Your Role at World Scholars Academy. What is an Average Day for You?
It’s hard to say that there is such thing as a average day. We have a lot of irons on the fire at any given time from evaluating student applications, to responding to customer inquiries, to interviewing aspiring WSA tutors, and this varies all throughout the year. What doesn’t change is that we are constantly looking for ways to improve the student experience on our programs, and when we identify a great opportunity we execute.
Describe A Challenging Situation You Faced in This Role and How You Handled It.
Early on one issue was finding the best location to hold our in-person summer camps. We considered a number of locations but what seemed to have the most general appeal was Hawaii because of the variety of natural and cultural adventures students could experience here. Then once we had decided on Hawaii we had to go about systematically finding the right location. This was an arduous process but in the end we were able to partner with an experienced team at a world-class location and build a truly exceptional summer program.
What Has Been One of the Most Memorable Or Impactful Experiences You've Had at World Scholars Academy?
Our many student testimonials never fail to leave an impression on me. But when a student tells me that they felt lost and didn’t know what they were going to study at university but now have clear direction, or that they have been inspired to achieve more academically and professionally than they had previously thought possible, that kind of impact holds a special place in my heart.