WAnet was founded in 2011 in response to Wheaton Academy experiencing over 100 international inquiries and applications for 7 open spots. Rather than turn away these students, WAnet (Wheaton Academy Network) was formed to provide an efficient pathway for international students to attend another quality school like Wheaton Academy. This met not only the needs of the international students and their parents, but of high schools looking for a trusted source of international students to become part of their school communities. Accordingly, WAnet was formed as a central office of admissions, recruiting, and support on behalf of 20+ like-minded member schools around the country.
Since 2011, WAnet has carried out the mission of Wheaton Academy. Structurally, WAnet is under the umbrella of the WA Institute (an IRS code 509(a)(3) supporting organization of Wheaton Academy) and carries out the Institute’s vision to benefit our current student body while being a resource for Christian schooling around the world. As part of the WA Institute, WAnet has been charged to make WA a better school for its on-campus students, operate profitably, and to share Wheaton Academy’s best practices to the advantage of educators and schools around the world.
With gratitude and humility, we celebrate how the mission of WAnet has been successful in the formative years:
- Since 2011, WAnet has successfully recruited and placed over 300 international students from 15 countries in those member schools.
- WAnet has successfully prepared and equipped over 775 international students (including 318 students entering Wheaton Academy and WAnet Member Schools) through the annual Summer English Institute (SEI).
- SEI has grown into a premier month-long summer English and cultural acclimation program for international students. 2016 marked the sixth annual Summer English Institute with 185 students from 9 different countries.
- WAnet has also conducted highly successful HomeStay Boarding Symposiums attended by hundreds of American school staff members, which has been incredibly beneficial to school staff around the country who work with international students.
- Over the past 5 years, the ministry of WAnet has served and cared for international students and parents with fairness, honesty, and integrity.
From 2011-2016, Jon Keith served as the President of WAnet. In the fall of 2016, the WA Institute Board approved a restructuring of the student placement and year-round student support portion of WAnet to allow for a more deliberate focus on the Summer English Institute and HomeStay Symposium. This restructuring was done in such a way as to still allow for WAnet to serve international families seeking recommendation and placement into U.S. Christian schools. As part of this restructuring and due to the reduced size of WAnet, Jon Keith has resigned to pursue a larger role in this worldwide movement. WAnet was fortunate to have Jon lead the organization since its founding. His vision and energy for international missions was crucial in the early years of WAnet.