Panelists Agree that the International Baccalaureate Diploma offers an educational advantage for Alcuin students as they prepare for college
Alcuin School, a leader in Montessori and International Baccalaureate® education, hosted a prominent panel of IB educators and subject matter experts during a special campus visit on Tuesday, Sept. 30. A capacity crowd of nearly 150 parents, faculty, staff and Alcuin School supporters gathered in the Wyly Performing Arts Center on campus for the presentation titled “The International Baccalaureate Edge.”
Walter Sorensen, Alcuin Head of School, welcomed the distinguished guests including: Paul Sanders, Global Head of Recognition, International Baccalaureate® Organization; Wes Waggoner, Dean of Undergraduate Admission and Executive Director of Enrollment Services at Southern Methodist University; Bill Shell, IB Consultant at the University of Colorado, and Karen Phillips, Executive Director of Texas IB Schools.
Alcuin School provides a proven effective, progressive education for its students which begins in the Toddler program and extends into the high school years with the acclaimed IB Programme. This made Tuesday evening’s presentation particularly timely because Alcuin School was recently designated by the International Baccalaureate® Organization as a Candidate School for the IB Diploma Programme for its Upper School.
Featured presenter Paul Sanders explained that the IB Diploma Programme emphasizes international-mindedness and academic preparedness that makes IB students among the most sought after by colleges and universities across the U.S. and around the world.
“Today, more than 2,000 global universities recognize the IB diploma,” said Sanders. “It offers academic breadth and depth and it is truly an international qualification which encourages critical thinking and creates independent learners who are superbly prepared for college and beyond.”
The IB Diploma Programme is an integrated curriculum with study in six subject areas, compared to a single-subject focus of other programs and assessments. Students must use their content knowledge to solve problems, make conjectures and inferences, and think deeply about the big questions of the disciplines.
In recent years, Texas has experienced tremendous growth in IB curriculum within the state. According to Texas IB Schools (TIBS), Texas has one of the highest concentrations of IB World Schools in the world. TIBS suggests that if Texas were a country, it would be ranked five out of 144 in total IB World Schools, behind the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.
Studies show that students who participated in the IB are better prepared for university studies, perform better when they are there, are more likely to graduate (and graduate sooner) than other students. In addition, they are also more likely to enroll in selective institutions.
“We were honored to host both Mr. Sanders and this esteemed group of thought leaders at Alcuin School this week,” said Mr. Sorensen. “This was a tremendous opportunity for our parents, faculty and staff, as well as other education proponents, to hear from an impressive group of today’s leading experts,” he said.
In addition to hearing more about how IB gives students an academic advantage, guests learned how Montessori education serves as an excellent transition to the IB curriculum. Although there are more than 1,119,000 IB students enrolled at 3,747 schools in 146 countries, fewer than 10 schools combine the advantages of Montessori and IB in the way the programs are implemented at Alcuin.
“From the time they were toddlers, we have opened the minds of our students through the brilliance of the Montessori program,” said Mr. Sorensen. “We have taught them to be inquirers and we have enabled them to be responsible for their own learning. As we have nurtured their independence in Middle School and now in Upper School, our students are extending their Montessori training into IB.”
With the opening of Alcuin Upper School this fall, students have the opportunity to continue learning through inquiry and independence. Because IB is becoming an increasingly popular qualification for young people wishing to go on college, Alcuin School will be uniquely positioned to serve its students by giving them an educational edge today as they face the challenges of tomorrow.
About Alcuin School
A vibrant, nurturing, coeducational academic community serving students from toddler to 12th grade, Alcuin School uses the Montessori and International Baccalaureate program methods to foster critical thinking and a lifelong passion for learning. With faculty support, students at Alcuin School are eager to embrace change, question the status quo, and prepare for their future as leaders in a global society. For more information, please visit www.alcuinschool.org.