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Global Online Academy: A Window to the World
Global Online Academy student James McCranie '26

James McCranie ’26, Bolles GOA Student Ambassador

The Bolles School’s ongoing partnership with the Global Online Academy (GOA) continues to expand horizons for upper school students preparing to thrive in a global society.

Bolles has partnered with GOA since the 2017-18 school year, offering students an array of diverse, international courses from a consortium of schools across six continents and more than 30 countries. The virtual classes span a wide range of subjects, including Entrepreneurship in a Global Context, Filmmaking, Fiction Writing and Bioethics.

According to Assistant Head of Upper School Piper Moyer-Shad ’91, who serves as the GOA Site Director for Bolles, more than 40 Bolles students are currently enrolled in GOA courses – with some pursuing new Pathway Certifications.  

Students earn these certificates by completing three or more courses in one of the specific GOA Learning Pathways:

  • Art, Media & Design
  • Business, Economics & Finance
  • Computer Science & Engineering
  • Global Studies
  • Health Science
  • Justice, Ethics & Human Rights
  • Mathematics & Quantitative Reasoning
  • Psychology & Neuroscience

“Enrollment in GOA courses has grown significantly since our partnership with the academy began six years ago,” Moyer-Shad said. “The students who participate gain valuable skills, make new connections across the globe and have access to courses that aren’t feasible for us to offer in person on campus. The Pathway Certifications are particularly eye-opening for students exploring different career paths as they head into college and beyond.”

This fall, Nikolas Alvares de Azevedo ’25 became the first Bolles student to complete the Business, Economics & Finance Pathway Certificate. Azevedo took Introduction to Investments, Introduction to Branding & Marketing and Introduction to Legal Thinking as he gained a better understanding of markets and current affairs.   

Bolles President and Head of School Tyler Hodges said he is a strong supporter of GOA as it expands available electives and helps students develop virtual interaction skills.

“Almost every college student these days is taking at least one online course during their college experience – and often several – so this is a great skill to learn,” Hodges said. “You have to learn how to interact [virtually] and make sure you’re able to share your ideas really well with your peers and instructor online, which isn’t always the easiest when you’re used to doing it in person.”

Sophomore James McCranie ’26 is the designated Bolles GOA Student Ambassador responsible for promoting the virtual classes and serving as a resource for his peers enrolled in GOA courses. McCranie pursued the position as part of his leadership project for the Bolles Global Scholar Program - a new, innovative academic track designed to teach students global leadership and competence skills while shaping them into future global changemakers. 

“My role is to mentor people, assist them with their Global Online Academy journey and provide them with information that I didn’t know that would have been helpful to know before taking a [GOA] class,” he said.  

This summer, McCranie took a health science and physical education course through GOA with a teacher based in Bogota, Colombia. He worked alongside peers in China and India to complete his coursework, and the students met about once per week for discussion, using technology like voice chat, Zoom and Twist to connect, communicate and collaborate on projects.

Learn more about McCranie’s and Hodges’ perspectives in a Campus Connect interview here.

To learn more about GOA and view a full course listing, visit our webpage here. The partnership with GOA is offered as part of the Bolles Global Learning & Engagement program, an initiative designed to provide students and faculty access to programs, people and places around the world. #BollesGlobal