To IB or Not to IB?

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Abby Wittler, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

IB or International Baccalaureate is a program that is offered to students all around the world that helps them prepare for college and become better students all around.

We have had this program at NDA since the fall of 2007 and students have been excelling every year since.

This program focuses on student-based learning as a challenging way for people to learn and even earn college credit.

Even though students can earn college credit through these courses, that is not what they are all about, according to Mr. Matt Schultz, IB coordinator at NDA. They are prepared for college and “challenged academically and personally,” he said.

Students are expected to comprehend and absorb materials on their own rather than having it drilled in repeatedly by their teachers.

Even though the students are expected to learn for themselves, they still have the support of their teachers if it is needed.

“They are different from other classes because the expectations are much higher. I would say IB classes give you the information, but you have to take the time to understand it all,” said junior Katherine Zeise.

The two roads that a student could take with IB are only a few classes or full diploma. The full diploma is where the student takes six IB courses and graduates with an IB diploma as well as an NDA diploma.

There are many benefits of a student doing full diploma, such as college readiness and the ability to follow through with courses.

“Statistics show that full diploma students are more likely to succeed in many ways,” said Shultz.

Taking a few classes is beneficial for students if they are not ready for the full commitment but would still like to be challenged.

“It allows students to not have to worry as much about memorizing and spitting information back out,” said Shultz.

“I feel like IB has really prepared me for college. I feel as if I have come to truly understand certain topics and feel comfortable talking about what I have learned with others,” said senior Maggie Miller.

Students see that the world of IB, even though it is difficult at times, does really benefit them in the long run, and they appreciate what it does and will continue to do for them as students.

“I would definitely recommend IB classes to others. The hard work really pays off. There is so much to gain from IB if you are willing to put in the work,” Miller said.

IB English teacher Carolyn Brown emphasized that IB students push each other.  “When you’re in a classroom where everyone is working and seems to appreciate learning, the attitude is contagious, and you work harder.”

Interested in the IB program?  Read the op-ed piece in ‘Opinions’ by senior Clare Ravizza, who chose to take the IB Diploma route.