[Sponsored Article] With many high school options in Hong Kong, understanding what makes one offer stand out over another can be challenging. Here are three things that are unique about Stamford’s high school education. Tailor-Made Graduation Diploma Pathways Each student is unique, and to ensure each student can achieve their aspirations, Stamford offers multiple internationally recognized diploma pathways, including the International Baccalaureate Programme (IBDP). The multiple pathway model has been replicated from its successful sister school Stamford American Singapore, now operating for 11 years as a non-selective IB school. Last year students achieved a 100% IB pass rate and entered top universities across 18 countries such as Imperial College London, UC Berkeley, and Monash University. Similarly, Stamford American School Hong Kong offers all students the option to pursue the globally recognized IB Diploma Programme (IBDP). As the full IBDP might not suit every student's career aspirations, the flexible courses pathway option allows students to study select IB courses in-depth to achieve university course credit and improved application consideration. This IB course pathway is unique as many schools only offer the full IBDP. All graduating students receive an Stamford American High School Diploma fully accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS). The CIS accreditation is an internationally recognized standard of excellence that provides graduates with access to universities worldwide. Whether students graduate with one diploma or add the highly prestigious IBDP or a portion of it, they will have unlimited opportunities with their tailor-made graduation pathway. Small Cohort, Big Resources Although smaller than some schools in Hong Kong with a capacity of about 1,000 students, Stamford American School Hong Kong is exceptionally well-resourced due to the backing received as part of the global Cognita Schools group, which has 85+ schools worldwide. Students receive an exceptional level of personalized attention and guidance (some IB classes have only six students!) without compromising course selection, as Stamford offers over 25+ high school course options. The school is also well-resourced when it comes to faculty, "Being a part of the global schools group allows us to recruit and retain highly professional secondary school faculty. Currently, we average 14 years of experience," commented Secondary Principal Teresa Foard. On-site university and social-emotional counselors help students develop the life skills needed for success beyond graduation. Additionally, numerous specialist faculty, including music, art, languages, and technology, support the school's pioneering STEMinn program to nurture academic excellence. The Cornerstones Program: Real-World Hands-On Experience With so many new careers emerging, counselor and parent support alone is not enough to help students choose a life path. As adults, we know that experience is often the best teacher. To give students hands-on experience, Stamford developed a program for Grade 9 and 10 students, which partners students with industry professionals to gain hands-on experience for course credit. The opportunity to work with four different organizations means students are inspired by leading innovators, artists, architects, and entrepreneurs at renowned organizations such as SCMP, MIT, and the Hong Kong Art Academy, to name a few. In the pilot year of the program, both students and teachers were amazed at the final result, “Throughout the program, we met different guest speakers who shared their experience innovating and establishing their own business from scratch. That was truly inspiring,” shared Kristy, now in Grade 11. Teacher Coordinator Tristan Benson commented on how the program made him truly proud, “As part of the MIT Cornerstones project, students learned about business pitch and were challenged to ideate and present a product that promotes green cities in front of a panel of judges, which was not always easy. The confidence of our students was impressive, their presentation was sleek and their grace at the Q&A was remarkable. Truly a proud teacher moment!” “The high school years are an exciting time for a student to explore their strengths and passions while preparing for university. Choosing a school that offers trusted international programs such as the IBDP coupled with personalized support and unique experiential programs gives students a world of opportunity!” shared Christina Meherg, Stamford’s University Counselor. Stamford American School is a K-12 through-train IB World School with transfer options to 85+ Cognita schools globally. Offering a rigorous American standards-based curriculum taught through an inquiry-based approach and an innovative STEMinn curriculum students are equipped with the academic foundation and life skills necessary to excel beyond graduation.