International Baccalaureate participation quadruples in last year


Casey Dower, Journalist

The amount of students that participate in the International Baccalaureate program has grown in the last year, especially with the addition of the Middle Years Program, with 90 students enrolled.


The International Baccalaureate Program (IB) has been at Dickinson for four years.


When the first IB students graduated in 2014, there were 17 students in the program. In 2015, there were only seven students to graduate, and this year, there are only five. However, the group of 2017 has 20 students in the program, Dickinson’s highest number of IB high schoolers yet.


IB encourages students to think independently. “[Students] have to construct their own learning,” said IB history teacher, Geoffrey Ott.


IB also teaches students to be culturally aware through learning another language.


The language portion of the program is much more rigorous than the way language is taught conventionally.  The IB students have to take five different tests at the end of the program and write a 4,000 word essay in their language—something that a normal high school class would almost never require.


Gina Travalini, the French language teacher, said that “students have to mature to handle the things we study in French culture.”


The International Schools’ Assessment study conducted from 2009-2011 shows that IB students perform better than non-IB students.


IB also gives schools a higher quality of education for the students, as well as teaching teacher different ways of teaching and approaching the subject matter.


Maddie O’Neill, a senior and a student in the program, says that a lot more goes on in the classes.


“Before IB, I could usually do my homework the day it was due. But with IB, there’s so much that has to be done and I have to do it outside of class,” said Maddie O’Neill.