IB program growing at MCHS
By Malin Dartnell
The International Baccalaureate Program has long been recognized as one of the most rigorous high school curriculums available to Georgia students. Only recently, however, have the students begun to receive the credit that they deserve for their hard work. On February 13, 2008, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved a new policy concerning those who complete the International Baccalaureate program.
This new policy grants academic credit to those who complete the program (with or without receipt of the International Baccalaureate Diploma) with adequately high assessment scores. In a standard level (college preparatory) IB class, a score of 5 grants the student zero to four credit hours, and a score of a 6 or 7 grants the student three to eight credit hours. In a higher level (college comparable) IB class, a score of 4 grants three to four credit hours, a 5 grants three to eight credit hours, and a 6 or 7 grants anywhere from three to 12 credit hours.
Also, the Board said that “individual campuses may choose to offer additional benefits” up to 24 credits, and allowed individual institutions the option to award credit to those students who earned certificate of completions of a single subject are for Higher level classes with scores of at least 4.
This new policy, taking effect in the fall of 2008, is similar to the Board’s Advanced Placement policy, which has been in effect for several years. To many students, much of the value of the program lies in its worth in the eyes of colleges.
The program has always been an asset when applying to college, and now, thanks to the new policy, being involved in the program will be immensely helpful when registering for classes.
Students could earn up to 24 credit hours - two semesters worth of classes - from their participation in the IB program.
However, the program has already proven itself as being much more valuable than that. “IB is unique from other similarly rigorous high school curriculums because of the fact that it is a full, degree granting program,” says Morgan County IB coordinator Denise Frost, “CAS hours, Theory of Knowledge class, and the Extended Essay help students draw connections between classes and the real world, and teach them how to think instead of memorize facts.”
She places emphasis on the fact that in order to take advantage of the full potential of the IB program, students must be full diploma candidates. She goes on to say that the Board of Regents new policy will be a huge boost for the diploma program, as it will encourage students to be a part of the program instead of only taking a few IB or AP classes. Morgan County High School is one of 2,122 schools across the world that offer the IB program and, each year, scores have been steadily rising.