IJGA supports student athletes in their personal development through the golf and academic programs and all aspects of Student Care at the academy. IJGA is built on the solid foundations necessary to create a safe environment for students and a variety of activities for their enjoyment during their time at IJGA.
Central to our approach in Student Care is a recognition that in the later years of teenage development the main influences are within their peer group rather than the influence of adults. At IJGA we are immensely proud of our peer group, made up of a diverse group of driven international students, who make sacrifices in leaving home, in most cases show courage to studying a second language in a foreign country, and are immensely ambitious to succeed in their passion activity of golf. We cannot imagine a better peer group in any boarding institute and consider these positive influences to be at the heart of the magic of IJGA.
The role of the house parents who manage Student Care is to create the safe environment for this group of students to flourish, firstly by facilitating the “family” units in the various “home away from home” houses. Typically, single houses accommodate six students, with double houses therefore accommodating twelve students. Returning students are given the opportunity to select their “brothers or sisters” to share their everyday life with the joys, the frustrations and the time together. We encourage a mix of ages in each house, ranging from 9th grade to 12th grade, with the older students acting as “older brothers or sisters” to the younger students. The success of this approach is evident by the number of college students that return to visit their “IJGA siblings” during Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring breaks.
As part of our Leadership Development, we give students the opportunity to join our Captains program, in which they commit to be an outstanding role model, a person of good character that inspires others. In joining this program, we see a change in their behavior, in different ways for each person, but always for the best. Leading by example is exceptionally powerful and inspires others to learn from your actions. Captains support the house parents by taking on responsibilities in their houses for safety, order and cleanliness. As the student representative group, they attend a weekly Captains meeting in which they organize the student activities, provide feedback on food to the catering team, organize inter-house sports competition and organize weekend activities in our recreational center.
All students attend a weekly Character program, made up of presentations on character topics, guest speakers who inspire with messages on the importance of character, and perhaps most importantly, students write a monthly letter to their parents commenting on their Golf, Tournaments, Academics and Student Care.
Our policies, rules and regulations are clearly laid out in a Student Handbook which all students are required to understand at the start of each semester and sign to confirm their agreement. Designed by students, our discipline process is based on issuing Yellow cards for minor rule infractions and Red cards for major rule infractions. Students may receive one or two Yellow cards without any consequences, if they have no further breach of our rules for one or two months following the issuance of these cards. Three Yellow cards results in a Red card, with the requirement to carry out two hours of community service.
The most regular weekly activities are trips to a department store, selling food, clothes and other household conveniences, on a Friday night, the Asian Market food stores over the weekend and the local food supermarket on Sunday nights. Regular trips are also made to movies, bowling, local tourist towns, favorite restaurants and coffee bars.
THEME PARKS / SHOPPING MALLS
Occasional trips are made to the local Orlando Theme Parks, more commonly Disney Springs or City Walk, as well as to the main shopping malls and outlet stores.
Occasional trips are made to the east and west coast beaches, just over an hour away, as well as to local attractions for kayaking and paddle boarding. IJGA has a boat for trips on the lake and through beautiful local canals as well as for fishing.
Students attend various PGA, LIV, LPGA and EPSON tour events, including TPC Players Championship, Bayhill Invitational, Valspar at Innisbrook, LIV Golf in Orlando, LPGA Tampa and EPSON here in Howey in the Hills.