World Class Kayak Academy | Academics





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As the worlds first accredited kayaking Academy, our philosophy has always been "academics first" with the goal to provide a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. Along with our traveling schedule, students attend class five full days each week and earn high school credit in seven academic areas. Our faculty is comprised of professional teachers with a passion for working with young people in a global and constantly changing learning environment. With a 3:1 (or less) student-to-teacher ratio, students receive personal attention and an individualized educational experience few schools can offer. Our college preparatory curriculum fulfills rigorous academic standards and has proven to prepare students to compete successfully for college admission.

Learning is a full-time process at WCA and the experiences outside the classroom during daily life are integral to our educational program. The development of character is a cornerstone of the school’s mission, helping students become responsible, culturally aware, and compassionate individuals with the ability to find success wherever life may take them.

Male Kayak student working on homeworkMany of the experiences at WCA contribute to this end. Travel to a variety of destinations allows students to experience other cultures and witness lives very different from their own. The service projects each semester help students see the importance of contributing to the communities in which they live and travel. Living, learning, and traveling with a small group of students and faculty foster the development of good communication skills and cooperation while being responsible for the tasks of daily life abroad teaches self-reliance and teamwork. After their time at WCA, students return home with new levels of confidence and independence, as well as an ability to see beyond themselves with unique insight into the world around them.

The mission of World Class Academy is to help our students excel in the areas of academics, athletics, and character, with equal emphasis. The blending of these three in the education of the whole individual is what makes the WCA experience exceptional.

School Profile


Our accreditation is administered by World Class Academy through Advanc-ED. You can check the accreditation status of WCA here.

Graduation Requirements

To receive a diploma from World Class Academy, students must complete a minimum of 24 credits with 18.5 credits in the following courses.

Language Arts  4 credits
Social Studies  3 credits*
Mathematics  3 credits*
Science  3 credits*
Language  2 credits*
An additional 2 credits is required from either the Math, Science, or Social Studies department based on your choosing  2 credit
P.E. & Health Enhancement  2 credit
Fine Arts  1 credit
Elective Credits  6 credits
Total Credits  26 credits

* 4 credits recommended for highly selective colleges and universities

School Statistics

  • Mountain

  • Eastern

  • Pacific

  • Central

  • International


Average Attendance

1 year (ranging from 1-6 semesters)

Students on Scholarship

3-5 students/semester


4 full-time faculty and 1 intern.
Faculty member roles include: Academic Director, Logistics Director and Head Coach.

Student-Teacher Ratio

4 to 1 or less


Each semester maintains a minimum of 14 academic weeks, not including: field trips, study sessions or finals. During each academic week, classes are scheduled to meet for three, hour and a half periods. Homework is assigned accordingly and free periods serve as study halls, provided students are performing successfully.


Students are required to register for a minimum of four academic courses each semester.

Alumni Colleges

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    Algonquin College

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    Colorado State University

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    Colorado Mountain College

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    Delft University of Technology

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    Evergreen State College

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    Fort Lewis College

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    Harvey Mudd College

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    Lewis and Clark College

  • Linfield School of Nursing

    Linfield Nursing Program

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    Marist College

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    Metro State College of Denver

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    Montana State University

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    Sewanee University

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    UC Santa Cruz

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    Univ. of Alaska Anchorage

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    UNC Asheville

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    Western Washington Univ.

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    Willamette University


Evan Smith Faculty Profile

Evan Smith

Vice Principal

B.A. in Hydrological Sciences – UC Santa Barbara, M.S in Water Resources Engineering – Humboldt State University

Capo Rettig Faculty Profile

Aaron Capo Rettig

Executive Director

B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Latin American Studies – University of Oregon

Lauren Cooney profile picture

Lauren Cooney

Academic Director

MA International Development, Education and Health Promotion, University College London
B.A. Anthropology & English (UTeach), University of Texas at Austin


Crista Wiles

Dean of Students

Registered Clinical Counselor (BCACC)
Masters of Education in Counseling – City University of Seattle
Bachelor of Education – Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University
Bachelors in Literature & Biology – St. Francis Xavier University


Our Classroom

Education and experience are intertwined at WCA, as traditional course content is oriented towards daily experiences and surrounding environments. Learning Spanish while traveling in Mexico, examining cultural studies in China, and studying biology on safari in Africa, students receive a quality college preparatory education. Small classes led by experienced and motivated teachers provide an individualized approach focused on active student participation in the educational process. Students really are living what they are learning.

As the location of the World Class program constantly changes, so do the classrooms. Small class sizes allow a teacher and his or her students to easily find quiet places for class or studying. In Washington, classes will take place at our campus in Trout Lake. One or two days of the week may also be spent in the local White Salmon library for classes, the internet, or research, followed by an afternoon paddle.

When away from our headquarters, teachers, and students equipped with dry-erase boards, laptops, accordion files, and books most often find themselves having class in cabins, in camp, under a shady palapa, or at the local library. The world is our classroom and flexibility is key. Our itinerary also allows for several college visits each year on both the east and west coasts as well as field trips that are integrated into our curriculum. Midterms and finals are always held at established locations with good accommodations, whereas standardized tests such as the SAT and AP tests will be taken at local schools along the way.


Coursework at WCA prepares students with the knowledge necessary for academic success at the college level. The core curriculum is aligned with standards outlining the competencies necessary for mastery of each subject.  WCA curriculum is also adapted to the travel itinerary, increasing the educational potential of every class at each destination visited. Classes take advantage of some unique field trips and learning opportunities in the world to provide WCA students with an place based education few schools can offer.

For students looking beyond the available course offerings at WCA or to segue with curriculum from their school of origin, the option to pursue an independent study is also available. Students who choose an independent study enjoy the challenge of student-directed learning and are paired with faculty advisors who assist with subject matter and established guidelines. WCA also offers select courses that are aligned with the Advanced Placement curriculum in order to prepare students to pass the AP exams and earn college credit.

Enrolled students may select coursework from the following list of classes and are required to register for a minimum of four academic core courses each semester. As a component to its normal coursework, WCA also offers seminars to prepare its students for the SAT exam.

For specific questions about individual classes, scheduling, or course descriptions please contact us at

Courses Offered at World Class Kayak Academy


Environmental Science

Language Arts

World Literature
Lit. of the Americas
Comparative Lit.

Foreign Language

Spanish - Beginner-intermediate
Spanish - Intermediate-advanced
Spanish - AP Spanish Language and Culture


Algebra I
Algebra II
Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry


Athletic Training & Performance Health
Life Skills
Media Productions
College Seminar: College & Career Readiness


World History
History of the Americas
Government / Economics
AP Human Geography

*denotes AP course offering available

Graduation requirements fulfilled by the coursework are consistent with those set by the state of Washington.
Additional courses to meet specific student requirements are available through our distance learning platform. 
We do not guarantee that every course will be offered every semester.

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