Frequently Asked Questions
Who is IAG?
We are private company of dedicated educators, mentors and child supervisors devoted to creating a cross-cultural bridge for international students to achieve their individual academic and extracurricular goals. Our staff are trained experts in English as a second language (ESL) education, college preparation, tutoring in a variety of disciplines, and mature and responsible role models for today’s youth. Each employee at IAG exhibits not only a detailed understanding of local American culture and education systems but also a global understanding of how to best excel in today’s international marketplace.
Does IAG have a particular educational philosophy or mission?
The International Academic Group is a full service organization that seeks to provide international youth access to the American educational experience and to cultivate within them the necessary skills for leading lives of personal value. Our motivation is rooted in the American dream and what it represents to the multitude of individuals who aspire to come to this nation. It is the allure of the American experience, rooted in the idea that in America, you are more than just a number. You are an individual. At International Academic Group we strive to meet this ideal.
What does International Academic Group do?
At IAG we take on the care and custody of each student for the entirety of their academic career while they attend school in America. IAG is not a typical international student agency solely concerned with getting foreign students accepted into American schools and moving on to the next student for placement. In addition to preparing international students for US colleges and universities, we take a personalized approach to their growth as a student and a person.
What is IAG’s approach to student discipline and safety?
At IAG we strive to create an environment where students feel safe and at home as part of a large extended family. This environment allows our councilors to keep a watchful eye on the students as well as creating an environment where teachers can contact a fellow educator should they have concerns about a student. See IAG’s Student Handbook and Constitution for more details.
How much homework do students have? What is IAG’s philosophy/approach to homework?
Homework amounts depend on the student’s respective school and grade. Homework typically requires around 2 hours of concentrated effort per school night. Students are also assigned projects which might require more effort hours. In addition, IAG tutors may assign homework to students but do sparingly as the Administration understands student’s course loads.
What kind of library resources are available to students?
IAG supports the Live Oak Public Library System (http://www.liveoakpl.org/) serving Chatham County. Live Oak Public Libraries provide excellent, responsive service to enrich people's lives, support lifelong learning and build and enhance our communities. Each student will apply for a library card upon arrival on IAG’s Campus and frequent trips will be scheduled for students. Two Live Oak Public Libraries are in close proximity to our campus. In addition, IAG maintains its own library with a wide variety of applicable material including college resources, SAT/ACT prep, TOEFL prep and ESL material. Student’s respective schools also maintain a school library so there is no shortage of available materials.
IAG also encourages student participation in the Lexile Framework for reading system (https://lexile.com/). A Lexile measure is a valuable piece of information about either an individual's reading ability or the difficulty of a text, like a book or magazine article. When used together, these measures can help match a reader with reading material that is at an appropriate difficulty, or help give an idea of how well a reader will comprehend a text. The Lexile reader measure can also be used to monitor a reader's growth in reading ability over time. Lexile helps readers grow, and helps parents and teachers know.
How is technology used to support teaching and learning at IAG?
Technology is encouraged on IAG’s campus for academic purposes. Wi-Fi is provided free of charge. However, certain study periods and tutoring classes disallow the use of smartphones, laptop computers, tablets, translators and other electronic devices. Tutoring classes may use the ClassDojo system (https://www.classdojo.com/) which parents are encouraged to enroll for free to monitor progress. ClassDojo’s mission is to reinvent classrooms by bringing teachers, students and parents closer together. Teachers use ClassDojo as a communication platform to encourage students, and get parents engaged too. Classrooms become positive places - which means there's no more ‘classroom management’. Just happier classrooms.
How do the arts fit into the curriculum? Is there a school choir, band or orchestra?
Respective students’ schools offer a wide variety of choir, band, orchestra, art and or drama programs depending on the student’s individual curriculum. In addition, IAG offers CORE classes (based on the Waldorf method of teaching) to select students to encourage creative thought and prepare students for college courses.
What extracurricular opportunities (sports, clubs, community service, and competitions) are available for students?
Respective students’ schools offer a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities. In addition, IAG organizes monthly community outreach programs to fulfill volunteer hour requirements. There are also a number of extracurricular activities available in Savannah including horseback riding, musical tutoring, weekend sports clubs, etc.
How do students get to school? Is free school busing available?
IAG will provide transportation to and from schools only for school purposes. Any school extracurricular activity will also fall under IAG's Transportation Department’s responsibility. This only includes sports activities, after-school study, club meetings, IAG organized activities, etc. Transportation out of Savannah city limits and is not suggested; however, if necessary, costs will be incurred by the student. Non-academic (personal) activities requiring transportation must be arranged through IAG’s Transportation Department with said approval and the cost will be incurred by the student. If available, IAG Transportation Department will coordinate outside transportation, yet students may incur reasonable wait periods and the cost will be incurred by the student.
What strategies are used to teach students who are not fluent in English?
While we only submit applications from students whose mastery of the English language allows them to proficiently communicate with teachers and fellow students, our ESL classes ensure our students continue to increase and expand their English skills while in the US. Our onsite staff is well-trained in linguistic education theory and expert ESSL staff make the transition into the American education system as smooth as possible. AT IAG we use the following ESL training method:
Exclusive Use of the Target Language
At IAG, all conversation in common areas, tutoring sessions and study periods takes place in American English. Whether teaching a freshman or senior student, our trained tutors and supervisors use a conversational method based on listening and speaking versus rote memorization to make sure that English is spoken right from the first day of classes to graduation without the need of translation devices.
B. Dynamic Student Participation
The correct mastery of English as a second language encompasses lively and self-motivated student participation with maximum speaking time in all stages of tutoring. This approach, with positive making of correction, produces a comforting environment, inspiring the self-confident and everyday use of English.
C. Learning Practical English through Real Conversation
Language is an oral phenomenon; therefore, most teaching and learning is done in an oral context. By totally immersing the student in English, IAG can help simulate the real-life situations in which students will be using the language, and remove the awkward process of introducing a concept first in the student's native tongue and then in the target language.
D. Grammar as a Means of Communication
IAG tutors and staff focus on a "building-block" approach. During the early stages of instruction, initial focus is geared to instituting basic structures and grammatical points. Each structure is presented and routinely rehearsed, and serves as a base for new knowledge.
What professional development opportunities do tutors have?
Tutors at IAG are trained in ESL language theory and use the IAG methodology to instruct students. All tutors are regularly monitored and assessed by the Dean and each tutor must meet IAG’s criteria for employment.
What kind of emphasis does IAG place on college preparation?
IAG provides mentoring services for students interested in attending higher education in the United States. Our mentors will help mold students into “well-rounded” applicants including but not limited to: a sufficient GPA, TOEFL and SAT/ACT scores, extracurricular activities, essay writing skills and that elusive “X factor.”
IAG mentors work individually with each student to find which higher education institution suits their academic needs and future career goals. IAG Administration has established personal relationships with admissions faculty at a wide variety of colleges and universities and can help place a student’s application to the top of their lists.
Are counselors available to help students make important decisions about classes?
IAG administrators regularly advise students on their current academic schedules and look for any opportunity to adjust and improve curriculum to fit an individual’s future needs. IAG administrators also meet with respective schools’ supervisors to determine the best path for college acceptance.
Does the school staff set high expectations for all students?
Student’s grades will be routinely monitored to ensure that they not only meet their respective schools’ requirements but also IAG standards. Students must maintain at least a C average in order to be re-invited for the following academic year. If a student appears to struggle with a particular course, the Administration will take action to help said student improve their score. This could include, but not limited to, tutoring, meetings with school staff and/or IAG Administration, and disciplinary action.
Does the school have a tutoring programs so students can get extra help if they need it?
IAG provides ESL tutoring for all students with a focus on achieving the highest TOEFL scores possible. The TOEFL iBT test measures the 4 English language skills students will need to succeed at any institution — reading, listening, speaking and writing. Composed of 100% academic content, the test integrates these 4 skills so parents can be confident that students who score well are prepared to do their best in the classroom and beyond. Our ESL tutors are trained how to navigate the test particulars and provide students with the skill sets to achieve the highest scores.