What is the IB Program?
IB is a program that started in 1968 in Europe in an effort to establish preparatory school standards that could be recognized by European universities as rigorous and effective in preparing students for higher level studies. It has been in American schools since 1980 and in NHS since 1995. Its influence on American universities is supported by an IBO 2011 survey that shows IB seniors in the US are accepted into premier universities more often than the general admission pool of applicants.
Highly motivated and academically focused student will find a rigorous and diverse educational experience in IB at NHS. The IB Diploma program is offered to eligible students who are entering their junior year. The program is designed to be an integrated interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses students as much on how they learn as what they learn. The course work is advanced and promotes the students intellectual, personal and social development. Students may choose to participate at the full diploma level or at the course level.
The centerpiece of the program is Theory of Knowledge (ToK), an interdisciplinary course intended to stimulate critical reflection upon the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom. ToK, which is available to full diploma program students, unifies the academic subjects and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives.
What are the components of the IB Diploma?
Students who earn the IB Diploma meet the following requirements during their junior and senior years:
Complete and test in one course from each area of the IB Hexagon (see below). Electives may come from areas other than area 6.
Complete the IB Central Elements—Theory of Knowledge course; an Extended Essay; Creativity, Action, and Service hours (CAS)
What is CAS?
IB is committed to the concept that a student should be a productive participant in a democratic society. To this end, students are expected to participate in approximately 150 documented hours of creativity, action, and service which address student development in eight learning outcomes. These hours are to be completed during the junior and senior years. Students utilize a online management tool called ManageBac to document and record all CAS elements.
Link to CAS web page
Link to Information about ManageBac
Link to Norcross' ManageBac page for IB Diploma Students and Parents
What is an Extended Essay?
An extended essay is an independent research project that the student undertakes with the aid of a mentor knowledgeable in the area of interest. The essay is 4,000 words and is assessed by an international IB examiner.
What are the prerequisites for the IB Program?
Students wishing to pursue the IB Program must complete World History, Economics, Political Systems, and Physical Education and Health during the freshman and sophomore years. American Literature survey will also be required in the sophomore year.
(In some cases, a student transferring into NHS at the end of the freshman or sophomore years who wishes to pursue the IB Diploma may qualify. A conference with the IB Coordinator will determine if the graduation requirements can be met during the pursuit of the IB diploma.)
How does IB Middle Years Program (MYP) Fit?
At Norcross High School IB Year 4 (freshman year) and IB Year 5 (sophomore year) are part of IB-MYP. Both of our feeder middle schools, Pinckneyville and Summerour, are MYP schools. The program spans five years and the fourth and fifth years are completed at NHS. MYP does not guarantee acceptance into IB Diploma program.
Can a student participate in the IB Diploma Program in only a couple of courses?
Yes, for students who choose not to earn the IB Diploma, it is possible to complete IB courses in areas of their greatest interests and ability. In order to earn credit at most colleges IB course level students can only take courses at the Higher Level.
Is my child a good fit for IB Diploma Program classes?
Many parents and students struggle with making the decision to take advanced level classes. What are the characteristics that the students who are successful in IB classes most often display? In order to assist with that decision, look at the Learner Characteristic Survey below. If your student scores in the higher ranges of the survey, they could be a good fit for IB Diploma Program classes.
Learner Characteristics Survey