CGA Academic Programs
School of Tomorrow Curriculum
The School of Tomorrow (SOT) curriculum utilized by Cornerstone Global Academy boasts 40 years of tradition, and its main headquarters is located in Texas, USA. As of now, more than 8,000 schools all over the world with more than 1 million students are using this curriculum, making it one of the biggest international curriculum in the world. This curriculum follows the U.S. school system, so all SOT students all around the world receive the U.S. high school diploma upon completion of the program.
The key focus of the SOT curriculum is the “self-paced, individualized learning.” The SOT curriculum does not follow the traditional pedagogy of having a teacher teaching a group of students in a conventional classroom setting. The students work through the K-12 SOT textbooks designed for the students to lead their own studies with their own pace. Rather than writing down what the teacher says and taking tests and exams on designated time periods, the students set their own study goals and individually ask for the teacher’s help when they are stuck in their studies, receiving 1-on-1 guidance in learning. The students study core subjects that match their academic levels, and they individually progress according to their learning speed. Slower students can take as much time as they need, and faster students may progress faster than their grade level and work on Honors and AP courses. Because the learning and the progress are individualized, there is no need to worry about peer pressure or comparing.
The high school curriculum is therefore credit-based and not age-based. Each student’s graduation depends on how fast he or she progresses, and the moment the student completes all the required credits, he or she is eligible for graduation. Many students who progress quickly in the SOT curriculum finish a semester or even 2 years early. Slower students can take time to grasp the academic concepts and graduate a bit later than average high school graduation age. Yet such a case is rare, and most students graduate on time or earlier than normal. The strength of this system is that it considers both fast and slow students, making sure that no student is left behind in learning.
For over 40 years of groundbreaking work in education, the SOT curriculum established itself as a program that transforms lives. Children who lack attention or the will to study are trained to set their own study goals and manage time wisely in order to achieve their goals effectively. The students studying under the SOT curriculum not only attain knowledge, but through the systematic management, they attain discipline and character required to succeed in life.
The SOT teachers serve as mentors and coaches who help each student to attain effective study habits. They check if each student’s daily goals are proper and advise students on the direction of their academics. Quite a number of staff members at Cornerstone Global Academy hold degrees from prestigious universities in the U. S., including Ivy League schools. Every day, all students are given the equal opportunity to interact and learn from such qualified teaching staff, receiving full, 1-on-1 attention.
Every day, the SOT students repeat their training in establishing daily goals and managing time effectively, and this routine becomes a highly useful habit that benefits the students for a lifetime. During the class hour, the students work through reading-based workbooks, which naturally prepare them to do well on the standardized tests such as SAT and TOEFL. Because SOT is heavily reading-based, the SOT-trained students do extraordinarily well on reading comprehension, which is traditionally the most challenging section in standardized testing for most Asian students. The SOT graduates who are equipped with the “self-paced” learning habits generally do well in colleges and graduate schools as well, for the “self-paced” learning is utilized all the more usefully in the higher degree programs in tertiary education.
Discussion (On-site and Online)
For the first half of class time, Cornerstone students focus on building study habits as they proactively pace through the SOT curriculum, and the remaining afternoon times are used for discussion and activity-based classes with the teachers on site. The two factors that governed education throughout history had been “reading” and “discussion.” The great philosophers of Ancient Greek who helped shape the principles of the society held discussions in Agora of Athens with philosophy books. The kings and the emperors in Ancient China and the Korean dynasties held political discussions with their officials based on the reading of the Confucian literature. The Jewish people are well known for the reading and discussion of Torah, which most successful Jews refer to as the source of their strength.
The students at Cornerstone Global Academy read at least one book a week from the carefully selected literature collection and participate in lively discussion of the literature. Additionally, they get to read newspapers and articles to keep up with the current events. All their reading and learning are critically reflected at discussion, and through the process, students become critical thinkers and confident communicators.
Each discussion session involves no more than 6 students and is led by a teacher holding a degree from the U.S.
Moreover, Cornerstone students are connected to a number of qualified American teachers residing in the U.S. through the internet conference calls and the online discussion lessons. CGA has a business partnership with Promise Cyber School, an online educational company based in Maryland, USA. This company provides highly qualified American teachers living in the U.S. who are difficult to find outside the U.S. These teachers are available to hold discussion classes with Cornerstone students from a distance. Therefore, along with the unique “self-paced” academic training of the SOT program, Cornerstone students get to enjoy a full package of diverse educational experiences through the interactive discussion classes with qualified teachers on site and online.
Electives, Extracurricular Programs and Volunteer Activities
Cornerstone Global Academy’s extracurricular programs include elective lessons which focus on the development of each student’s unique talents and regular volunteer activities that involve social work services to the needy neighborhood in Indonesia.
Through the available elective courses in art, drama, craft, music and physical education, CGA students get to explore their interests and talents. Furthermore, their developed talents may be put to a big stage at the annual Indonesian SOT Student Convention, where students from over 40 SOT schools in Indonesia gather and compete in a wide variety of areas. For the selected few who are awarded at the Indonesian Convention, they get to participate in the South Pacific Student Convention, which is held in Australia. The selected students from the South Pacific Student Convention then proceed to the final stage at the International Student Convention, which is held in the U.S. Therefore, a student’s talent development does not end in a single school, but the opportunity to develop and present talent is extended to bigger and bigger stages in and out of Indonesia.
In addition, the students at Cornerstone Global Academy regularly participate in the social work volunteer activities such as orphan care and soup kitchen. These hands-on sharing and giving activities help students to nurture a heart to look after the needy neighbors. CGA hates to see a child growing in intelligence but not in morals. By regularly participating in the volunteer services rather than doing once-a-semester type of volunteer activity, Cornerstone students gradually become men and women of character and love, individuals who possess the willing heart to love their neighbors and quick hands to provide help to the needy, the selfless models for the society that is becoming increasingly self-centered.