From The Margins to the Mainstream
iCademy Middle East Online School Enrollment Now Exceeds Most UAE Brick-and-Mortar Schools
From Pandemic to Promise
Two years ago, as the global Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the globe and disrupted education for over 1 billion students, Dubai residents, Dave and Sara Constantine, suddenly found themselves immersed in the world of remote learning. Like many of their peers, the Constantine children, ages 10 and 14, found remote learning "a little confusing and very frustrating." Sara Constantine explains, "When the lockdown and school closures were extended, I contacted iCademy Middle East. They've been teaching online for 15 years. My children’s school had been doing it for 15 days."
Constantine continued, "Within weeks of their enrolment in iCademy, we noticed my son's improved attitude (towards school) and grades. After considering the convenience, cost-savings, and numerous other advantages, we have decided to continue with iCademy Middle East for the long term." According to recently released enrolment data, the fastest growing segment in iCademy Middle East is mainstream students coming from mainstream schools; families like the Constantines.
Changing Perceptions Fuel Growth
iCademy, the region's only NEASC-accredited and KHDA-licensed online school has been operating since 2007. "In previous years, many families viewed iCademy as a specialized education for home school students, frequent travelers, athletes/artists, or students with special learning needs. However, that perception has changed. iCademy is no longer an alternative, it is the first choice," said Maya Sleiman, High School Principal for iCademy Middle East.
Prior to the pandemic, iCademy Middle East hovered between 600 and 700 students per year. That number skyrocketed to 1600 during the pandemic. Two years after the pandemic, student enrolment continues to grow. "We are obviously pleased (with our continued growth), but not surprised," said Jeffrey Smith, Director of Admissions and Knowledge Hub Operations. "Many families who enrolled during the pandemic, not only decided to stay, but they are also telling their friends about the advantages of online education. Whether a family joins our online school and studies at home or adds on Knowledge Hub services, we strive to make every child feel like they are a part of our community and not isolated."
Knowledge Hub Is Working
Established in 2021, Knowledge Hub is a 12,000 square foot learning center and activity space in Block 5 of Dubai Knowledge Park. iCademy Middle East’s online students, from grades K-12, have the option of studying at Knowledge Hub under the care of highly trained learning coaches in small group clusters. Knowledge Hub holds monthly activities for students and families and offers a range of after school and weekend activities. What makes Knowledge Hub a unique school experience is the flexibility it offers. Students have the option of attending live instruction, 2, 3, or 5 days per week. The Knowledge Hub facility grew from 90 students on opening day 2021 to nearly 250 throughout the course of the year. Smith said he expects Knowledge Hub to reach capacity this year.
"No uniforms, a flexible schedule, lots of individual attention, flexible payment options, and loads of activities. Every great idea that has made Knowledge Hub a success, we got from our parents. Knowledge Hub offers the freedom and flexibility that families appreciate in a home-school program while offering the subject matter expertise, social interaction, and well-rounded experience of a traditional school. It is blended learning at its absolute best." Smith continued.
The Flexibility Factor
Ashley Curd, iCademy Middle East's School Counselor is thrilled to see students taking advantage of the flexibility iCademy offers. "There is so much more to a quality education than sitting in classes. iCademy Middle East students can travel the world and pursue their interests while never missing a day of school. We are truly meeting the needs of today’s students and families."
iCademy Middle East graduates approximately 60 students each year. As a NEASC accredited American online school, iCademy Middle East provides major benefits for students applying to university leaving no question with the universities that their students have received a fully accredited education that meets high academic standards.
Leaders of Tomorrow
Reham Zia, a Senior at University of Southern New Hampshire, discusses how iCademy prepared her for her rigorous double major in university. "As I prepare to graduate college, I often reflect on the skills and opportunities iCademy Middle East provided. As President of iCademy's National Honor Society, I developed strong leadership skills that are benefiting me today."
Is iCademy Middle East right for your child?
The best way to determine if iCademy Middle East is right for your child is to speak to one of their Enrollment Counselors. iCademy offers FREE consultations via Zoom and telephone.
For more information, contact their offices at 04 440 1212 or visit www.icademymiddleeast.com