The upper school academic program has a wide range of courses. Students may choose individual Advanced Placement (AP) or other non-AP courses. The academic program is managed in an atmosphere that fosters independence and self-reliance.

Our use of block scheduling allows students to make choices about how they use their time. Daily unscheduled periods provide a time when virtually all teachers are available to meet one-on-one with students. Our core curriculum is complemented by an activities and athletics program that includes over sixty clubs and more than twenty athletic teams. Many CIA clubs have close ties with the local community and participate in a number of service activities. We are proud that community service has become a trademark of the CIA upper school student.

Leadership opportunities are integral to CIA education. An active Student Government visibly leads and prepares special school events; student representatives meet weekly to problem-solve student issues with the administration; class officers lead weekly meetings; and club officers manage budget, organizing service activities, and yearly goals. Confident, mature, and self-reliant CIA graduates are well-prepared for the world that lies before them.

CTBC International Academy’s Upper School (CIA) was established with the mission to create leaders for the 21st Century. CIA has identified eight core competencies that all students must master in order to graduate:


Reading skills are critical for success. Students will be required to read every day at CIA, and will also be taught the skills needed to read analytically and in-depth. Students will regularly discuss what is read in class, and will be exposed to many different ideas through an active study of literature.


Communication skills are necessary for success. Students at CIA learn how to express complex ideas and arguments through their written work. Students also learn how to express themselves through creative writing and poetry. Students will graduate from the upper school as able communicators, prepared to thrive in university and beyond.

Critical Thinking Skills

The ability to think for oneself is necessary for success in today’s world. CIA students develop their critical thinking skills through frequent reading, writing, and discussion. Students are taught to ask “why” and “how can I make this better?” Students regularly lead community service projects to apply their critical thinking skills and give back to the community.


Through reading and discussion, students encounter stories and ideas that challenge their understanding of the world. CIA students learn how to respect others and become strong advocates for positive change in their world.


CIA students learn the skills to express themselves through the arts as well as the skills to creatively solve problems. CIA’s arts program introduces students to many different ways to express themselves. CIA also teaches students creative problem solving skills, which are put into practice through assigned team projects and community service.


Students at CIA learn the skills necessary to take on tough challenges and succeed. Students learn how to address failure, adapt, and succeed. Students graduate the program with a positive mindset towards challenging themselves, as well as the time-management and work ethic skills needed to achieve success.


CIA students learn how to lead and advocate for positive change. Students are regularly called upon to lead class projects, school functions, and community service projects. Students are not only trained to ask the question “how can I improve the world?” but are also taught the skills necessary to bring about that change.


CIA students learn how to lead healthy lifestyles. All students are required to participate in sports education, either as a part of a team or as a part of a class. Students also learn nutrition and healthy eating habits. Lastly, an understanding of mental health is a key skill all CIA students learn. CIA students learn how to take care of their physical and mental health, and develop independence and resilience.