This article is from http://www.wis.edu/news/detail.asp?pageaction=ViewSinglePublic&LinkID=246&ModuleID=115. It captures a recent presentation to college officials.
I think, therefore IB. That's a sort of flip shorthand for what colleges get when they admit an IB student – they get a thinker!
University counseling officers Sam Smith and Pam Joos, fresh from professional meetings around the world, participated recently in a panel on "What you get when you admit an IB student” at the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) conference. They felt that many colleges understand the rigor of the IB, but don’t see the whole picture of an IB student. So they set out to paint that picture by illustrating a day in the life of a WIS student – Zane Smith, Grade 12, who is preparing for a bilingual (French) IB Diploma this year.
Zane’s day is useful in illustrating what Smith and Joos believe is true of IB students. “Rather than focusing on memorization of facts,” Smith says, “the IB forces a student to think around a subject, to see it from many angles and synthesize information in order to develop an informed opinion.”
“A student cannot succeed in the IB examinations without being able to do this,” Smith adds.
So what is a typical day for Zane?
In addition to his diploma program, which includes English, Economics, and History Higher Level, Math, French, and Biology Standard Level, Theory of Knowledge and the dreaded Extended Essay, Zane is editor of the student newspaper International Dateline, and runs for the cross country team. Phew! Here’s what he was thinking about on one particular day this fall:
· English: Discussed Othello – why does Shakespeare switch from verse to prose? How does he change portrayal of Othello using language?
· History: Pop quiz, then discussion of Jim Crow laws – how do the powerful get the rest of us to think against our own best interests?
· Biology: Discussed gene mutation – if gene mutation doesn’t result in miscarriage, what are its effects on the individual?
· Lunch: Two meetings, Jewish Culture Club, then a meeting on fundraising for disaster relief – can we get the DC gaming board to authorize a poker game?
· Study hall: Read about Reconstruction after the Civil War. Got into a discussion with another student re: numbers of African Americans voting today vs. 1870. By 2015, the other student says, criminal records will keep one-third of African Americans from voting, leaving fewer than could vote in 1870. Discussed equality as a concept versus reality.
· French: Read Tintin as comic relief after Moliere. Looked at sterotypes – homework is to look at reasoning that racism can be attributed to the social climate of the time.
· Math: Calculus – what else is there to say?
What did other people at the NACAC meeting have to say about the IB?
· Mary Lou Bates, dean of admissions and financial aid at Skidmore College called IB scores a “better predictor of college success” than SAT scores
· Edward Gillis, director of admissions, University of Miami, says statistics are starting to show that IB students perform better through the college years than students from other systems
Joos and Smith got good reviews for their presentation. One participant said “I learned more about the IB in one hour than I had learned in several years.” Says Smith, “On our final evening at the conference, an admissions officer came up to thank me for helping him understand more fully what an IB student does. He said he had met many IB students and was always impressed by their level of understanding and ability to talk on a wide range of issues. Now he could see why.”
Adds Smith, speaking of his own experience as a mathematics teacher here, “Everyone who works with IB students comes away impressed.”
Many universities will grant unit credits to IB Diploma students. For example, as of 2006, the University of California system will grant 30 unit credits and the University of Southern California will grant 20 unit credits for students earning the IB Diploma with a score of at least 30. In addition, depending on the major some will grant subject credit. For some, this may mean 3 years of college for an undergraduate degree.
Unit credits will put the student ahead of the line when it comes time to registrater for classes, basically, registering as a Sophomore. Registering before your classmates allows you to create your ideal schedule. Let's say, start classes at 10:00am and ending 3:00pm. Otherwise, you most likely you will have one class at 8:00am, 2:00pm and 6:00pm. You get the idea.
Subject credits will allow you to skip a course. Typically, subject credits will benefit Liberal Arts majors. Engineering majors have a very demanding curriculum to follow and generally will not get much in terms of subject credits. Usually, the credits will count towards general electives.
Competing Programs Stir Student Rivalries
By Ian Shapira
Thursday, January 25, 2007; Page A01
Alyssa Smith, 17, was taking Advanced Placement classes at