Last school year Centennial introduced the International Baccalaureate program as an option for its students. However, not many kids know enough information about the program to want to get involved. Many students overload themselves with AP classes to get into the college of their dreams, but this may not be the best option. The IB program gives you double the credit hours of AP classes, which means you can potentially save money in college by taking fewer classes. Also, since IB is international, it appeals to more colleges, including universities in other countries.
There are math, science, language arts, and many other courses offered for IB classes. However, the best options are classes you can’t take in most high schools. Eulora Skelton, a history teacher at Centennial, said, “One of the IB classes offered at Centennial is History of the Americas which you can learn about things like the Vietnam War from Vietnam’s perspective. This is so cool to me because you literally can not get this type of education at nearly any other high school in America.”
Some challenges students face with AP classes are passing the AP exam and being “good test-takers.” IB programs are writing-based so if students have trouble with multiple choice tests, this is a great alternative. Last year at Centennial, Slade Dale’s IB Econ class had a 100% passing rate on the IB test. Granted, there were fewer than ten kids in the class but students tend to perform better in IB. Skeleton also says, “IB classes are really based off your interests and, as teachers, we have more freedom of what to teach because it isn’t controlled by the College Board.”
There are also more options in IB than AP. For example, some IB classes are two years long, and some are one year long. So, if you are a junior, it is not too late to join IB. Dr. Andrea Prewitt and Dr. Heidi Morrison are the administrators in charge of IB at Centennial and can provide more resources to you, if you are interested in exploring your options.