World Class Climbing Academy | About


Core Values

The Mt. Bike Academy (MBA) is a grade 9-12 college-preparatory high school that mixes students’ passion for mt. biking, with an academic model that mixes international travel with hands-on learning from teachers that are also coaches and mentors. As students travel to the world’s top enduro / downhill destinations in the world, they do so while gaining an academic experience that is unmatched.

Students will travel with their teachers and classmates to the world’s top mt. bike destinations and study during the day, and ride and train in the mornings/afternoons. The focus of our athletic program is on creating well-rounded athletes and non-biking workouts will include strength, cardio, and stretching exercises to help support our student-athletes progression.

A heavy focus will be put on academic progression, mentoring, life-experiences, teamwork, coaching, and of course, helping create the next generation of experienced and talented mt. bikers. While we are first and foremost an academic institution, the common passion we all share is for mt. biking.

The MBA is a program of World Class Academy, a private high school that mixes students’ passions for extreme sports with travel, Mentoring and Coaching, and a grade 9-12 education. World Class Academy was started in 2001 and has three different programs, the Kayak Academy, Climbing Academy, and Kiteboard Academy.


Is a World Class Academy education equal to a traditional high school education?

World Class Academy meets or exceeds the scholastic benchmarks that are in place for college preparatory high schools. Our courses are enriched with the unique experiences gained through traveling the world. Students graduating from World Class Academy have an advantage because their education is backed by real-life experiences, greater independence, and immersion in diverse cultures.

How good at climbing do I have to be?

Students do not have to be world-class climbers when they enter the program. However, students should have a strong foundation of consistent 5.12/7a+ sport climbing and V5/6B+ bouldering at the start of the school year. At WCA we focus on a rigorous project-based schedule.  Students work on climbs for 3-6 weeks while building a strong base in order to work toward higher climbing goals. WCA accepts climbers who have a passion for progression and a desire to climb around the world. The school focuses on recruiting students who demonstrate the most potential to learn, and who are willing to be coached to in order to achieve their climbing goals.

Basic skills for acceptance to World Class include:

  • Proficient in leading climbing 5.12a/7a+, clipping, and lead falling.
  • Proficient at lead belaying with a Gri-Gri.
  • A basic foundation of reading routes and memorizing beta.
  • Comfortable with dealing with the elements while out climbing.

Is WCA for everybody?

World Class Academy maintains a thorough application process to ensure a cohesive group atmosphere and positive peer interaction. Students need to be adequately prepared for the challenge of living on their own. World Class is not a program for students with behavioral issues.

How long does the normal student attend?

Students attend World Class Academy for a minimum of one semester or a maximum of four years. The average attendance at the academy is one year, with many students attending for a single semester.

How much does it cost?

Semesters at WCA cost $18,750 and our annual tuition rate is $37,000. Scholarships are available for all programs. If you would like to receive information on the current year’s scholarship application process, please contact us at [email protected]

Financial Aid, scholarship, acceptance?

WCA offers a variety of scholarships and aid to families with financial need and a clear dedication to WCA's mission. A family may apply for a scholarship at the same time they apply for acceptance to World Class Academy. For more information, contact us to discuss what level of support may be available.

Do you offer AP classes?

The value of AP coursework is well recognized for academically motivated students and our faculty work to facilitate students on this track in two ways. World Class Academy offers AP courses in the mathematics and science departments. These courses are aimed at driven students who are self-motivated and inspired by a challenge. AP testing occurs in late May at the WCA office. For specific questions about coursework, AP classes, testing, counseling or to speak with the parent of a student who has successfully pursued AP coursework at WCKA in the past, please contact us.

How do I enroll?

Following acceptance to Summer Sessions (Apply Now) or the academy (contact us) a family may secure enrollment by submitting a deposit and returning signed copies of WCA's required paperwork, including a: financial commitment form, medical form, liability release, honor contract and transcript from the student's former school. 

What are mentor groups?

One of the main goals of WCA is to reinforce integrity by providing learning experiences that help young people develop in character while they grow as a student and an athlete. The relationships students develop as they navigate unfamiliar environments and push past their own social, athletic, and intellectual limits provide support for their growth.

With their mentors, students are encouraged to reflect regularly on their growth as athletes, students, and human beings. With their mentor group, students collaborate to provide meals for their peers, maintain living areas, and provide general support to each other.

Mentoring and the development of life skills happen on many levels at WCA. Through these processes, students develop an understanding of themselves, their place in the community, and their capacity to continue growing and learning.

Is the WCA program safe?

There are inherent risks in rock climbing.  World Class works hard to assure its students have the training and experience to safely explore our world’s rock walls. WCA maintains a strict 4:1 student to instructor ratio to ensure every outing on the rock is a safe one. We employ experienced staff that have proven skills in instructing, training, and climbing.  Athletes partner up on the rock in order to keep an eye on each other while out climbing.  Staff inspects each and every athlete's gear in order to maintain safety when the gear is being used. World Class also promotes an atmosphere where students are encouraged to assess and choose routes they are comfortable attempting before climbing.

What is the experience level of the faculty?

World Class Academy has the highest reputation for hiring and retaining quality faculty members who adhere to the core values of our program. Our teachers are trained as educators, coaches, and mentors.  They cultivate a supportive team atmosphere and perform their jobs with integrity.

Where and how hard is the climbing?

Many of the world class crags WCA travels to are challenging in nature. Most warm-up routes begin around the 5.11/6c grade or higher depending on the area. Having a strong base level of this grade is beneficial in order to enjoy many of the world-class crags around the globe. WCA focuses mainly on projecting routes, where students work routes for 3-6 weeks. This demands a lot from the body and athletes should be prepared to push themselves as they work toward achieving their climbing goals.

How do I communicate with my child?

Parents can expect to communicate with their children via email or phone when available at least once a week during each semester. While traveling internationally, students use an international phone plan, a local SIM card, or wifi to stay in touch. Our faculty have phones with service in each of the destinations where we travel and are available to help families stay in touch.  

How do I apply to work for World Class?

World Class Academy is always looking for qualified teachers with a passion for climbing and a desire to enrich the lives of WCA students. If this describes you, then please review our faculty page and send us a resume with a cover letter on why you believe you would make a good candidate for employment at World Class Academy.

Why do WCA students have an advantage on college applications?

World Class offers a unique educational environment that combines foreign immersion, academic and athletic challenge, and lifelong lessons. Our graduates are better prepared for the rigors of college life because we have given them the skills and confidence to succeed on their own. These experiences and skills set World Class students apart from other college applicants and help our students attend the colleges and universities of their choice. Our academics also provides students access to their teachers that is unmatched in traditional academic settings. The history and success of our graduates is a testament to the preparation and experience provided by World Class.

Are Donations Tax Deductable?

World Class is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whereby all donations are tax deductible and go directly to helping the program offer an amazing educational opportunity to a wider range of students. Donors have their option of ways to contribute and can choose to support a particular student, to enrich a cultural experience, or to support one of World Class’ philanthropic activities. For more information on how you can give to the program please visit the Donate section of our website.

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