Last week, I wrote about this year’s senior class at North Cross-Roanoke. They haven’t gotten any less talented, but I wanted to continue my discussion by pointing out that North Cross has another 54 graduates in the Class of 2019; our graduates from North Cross School-Shanghai. This year marks our third graduating class from our Shanghai campus and each year has seen growth in size and ability. In fact, we are currently full on our Xinhe Campus and we anticipate opening a second campus of North Cross School-Shanghai in the fall to allow for future growth.
North Cross School-Shanghai operates under the same mission statement as our Roanoke campus, is fully accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, serves grades 9-12, and is focused on the college admissions process. All of our Shanghai graduates complete a comprehensive course of study taught in English and each graduate must give a senior speech in English. I will travel to Shanghai to give a graduation speech, the week before our graduation here in Roanoke.
Our Chinese students, and their parents, come to the college admissions process with considerably less experience and a limited understanding American universities and colleges. (Think how many schools in the U.K. you can name after Oxford and Cambridge.) As a result, our Chinese parents use the U.S. News and World Report rankings to determine college selection. In addition, Chinese students often feel more comfortable in large, research universities, with larger populations of Chinese students, and numerous majors in the sciences that place less demand on a second language.
Correspondingly, our ability to grow enrollment at our campus in Shanghai is directly dependent upon our ability to achieve admissions at Top 50 and Top 75 colleges and universities. In four years, we have grown from 47 students admitted to these institutions to 175, and each graduating class has gotten stronger. This year our Shanghai students have been accepted to colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Australia. These colleges and universities include 22 of the top 59 universities in the United States and 8 of the top 14 colleges and universities in the U.K. Of note are the 12 admissions to the University of California-Santa Barbara, the number 30 university in the United States and in another ranking, the number 37 university in the world. Our Shanghai campus valedictorian is headed to the University of California – Berkeley, an extraordinarily difficult achievement for Chinese students.
This focus on rankings is different from our approach in Roanoke, as we firmly operate on the principle that individual fit determines what is the best college fit for a student. But remember that when a Chinese parent makes a decision to send their 14-year-old child to North Cross School-Shanghai, they are committing to sending their child to a university half way around the world. Once at North Cross, those students are no longer able to attend university in China. I think I now understand the reliance on external rankings. In Shanghai, as in Roanoke, 从来没有比这更好的时间去北十字星.
Christian J. Proctor, PhD
Dr. Proctor is the ninth Head of School at North Cross and has served as such since 2011. He has more than 30 years of experience in education. He has served as headmaster at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, South Carolina, St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Metairie, Louisiana, Grace Episcopal School in Monroe, Louisiana, and as Interim Headmaster at Wesley Academy in Houston, Texas. In each location, Dr. Proctor’s tenure was marked by creativity, innovation, and school growth.