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IB Diploma Programme: What is it?

IB Diploma Porgramme and its features.

As graduation season approaches, the International Baccalaureate Programme students are already one step ahead in the college process. But have you ever wondered what this organization truly is, how to get in it or what its benefits are in your curriculum? 

The Diploma Programme (DP) is an academic program offered by the IB aimed at students aged 16-18 in both state-supported and independent schools around the globe. 

“Recognized and respected by the world’s leading universities, evidence suggests that higher rates of DP students go on to university and higher education study than non-IB students,” according to the IB. 

The program gives the student a chance to choose subjects from the studies in language and literature, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, language acquisition, and the arts, providing them the opportunity to master various fields in order to have a successful career. 

Participating as a diploma candidate is challenging. To do so, the IB student must meet several requirements starting at 11th grade: enroll in six IB subjects over 2 years, take IB exams in each of the areas chosen, write an original essay (the Extended Essay) of approximately 4000 words, take the Theory of Knowledge class for two years, participate in Creativity, Action, and Service (C.A.S.) and complete a portfolio that shows learning outcomes have been met.

The path may be difficult, but the outcomes are proven to be worth it. IB graduates had higher college GPAs (by 0.12 to 0.18 in the first year, 0.02 to 0.08 at graduation) and higher college graduation rates (by 3.0% to 11.8% in four years, 1.3% to 7.4% in six years), according to the College Confidential Forums website. 

“I think having the (IB) diploma is a good symbol of all my hard work in high school coming to fruition, and it is,” Catrina Cagalawan, who earned the International Diploma as a 2021 graduate, said. 

Many seniors were also interested in being one step ahead and joined the programme. Senior Gabriela Swenson is one of them.

“The IB Diploma Program has been such a valuable experience for me as it has allowed me to grow academically and personally. Despite it being very demanding, it has taught me how to think critically, outside the box and at a collegiate level,” Swenson said. “The teachers here at Novi really make this a special program to be a part of because they will help you through the process and make coming to class every day so enjoyable. The community and bonds built here are some of my favorite parts of my entire high school  career. I am very grateful to have been part of this cohort and would recommend it for any student who enjoys learning and is looking to expand their academic abilities.”

“One very important component of IB is Theory of Knowledge as it forces you to think about different perspectives and try to understand why things are the way they are; this was one of

Senior Gabriela Swenson (Caique Agra Dias)

my favorite classes. It is discussion based and my classmates and I have had many engaging conversations about so many topics,” Swenson said. 

Theory of Knowledge is all about questioning what people know and how they know it. It encourages students to analyze and understand knowledge and its sources from different perspectives, preparing them for their professional life. 

Novi students aren’t the only ones to find the program and this specific course pleasant.

Teaching this class has changed the way I look at the world by encouraging me to be more open to new ideas and more willing to tolerate not knowing. Certainty seems to be rather elusive, and we’ve decided that ‘It all depends’ should be our motto,” Amy Watkins, the IB Theory of Knowledge teacher, said. “I think one of the best aspects of the class is the tight community we form. We have a lot of time to work together and support each other. The IB curriculum is demanding, but it’s also rewarding because it emphasizes building skills that help students be successful beyond the classroom.”

The IB program opens doors to a transformative educational experience, empowering students with the skills essential for success in today’s globalized world. It’s a pathway to a well-rounded education, fostering growth and readiness for college and future endeavors. If  you are a freshman or a sophomore, you may consider trying to join this challenging yet rewarding road while it is possible. 

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About the Contributors
Isadora Martins
Isadora Martins, Staff writer
Isadora is a freshman. This is her first year on staff. Passionate about music, sports and, of course, her home-country Brasil (with an 'S'). Isa is always trying to embrace her culture in every way possible. You can reach her at [email protected] or [email protected].
Caique Agra Dias
Caique Agra Dias, Staff Writer
Caique Agra Dias is a 16-year-old Brazilian student who loves to enjoy his free time to hang out with his friends. He loves movies (especially horror movies) and animals. If he has to stay in one place for the rest of his life, it will be at the beach. He is a Hufflepuff in the Harry Potter universe. You can contact him at [email protected]
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