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Monday, October 20, 2008

The prevelance of the IB

This morning's Washington Post has an article about how IB programs are received at area colleges and universities. To say it baffles me would be an understatement.

I've been told that Virginia ranks third in the list of states with the most IB programs in high schools. Seeing IB courses on applicant transcripts is very common. In fact, there are a good number of schools in Virginia that are offering both the AP and the IB and some that offer AP, IB, and Dual Enrollment (hats off to the faculty and registrars at those schools who manage to provide so many offerings). The University's IB credit policy and related charts that cover AP, IB, and language about the British, French, German and Swiss systems are easily found by doing a search on the student handbook page:

The University’s undergraduate schools usually award advanced standing (course exemption and academic credits) to entering students for qualifying scores on a variety of advanced examinations if such examinations are taken before matriculation at the University or another college. For example, the College of Arts and Sciences awards advanced standing credit for scores of 5, 6, and 7 on most International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations. Advanced standing credit is also considered for qualifying scores on the General Certificate of Equivalency (GCE), British A-levels, French Baccalaureate, German Abitur, and Swiss Federal Maturity Certificate.

College of Arts and Sciences students should consult the chart included in the College website for credit awarded to students for International Baccalaureate, A-Level, Baccalaureate, and Abitur examinations. Students in the School of Architecture, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and School of Nursing should consult their undergraduate dean's office to find out what credit is given for these exams. Accepted students should have score reports sent directly to the Office of Admission in the summer following the final year of secondary school study.

The article claims "the academic departments [at UVa and other schools like William & Mary and George Mason] were refusing to give them the credit AP students received" when this clearly isn't the case. It goes on to describe the policies of these schools as discriminatory.

Perhaps the article is really about the IB Standard Level? If so, the author should have been much clearer, as those of us in Virginia are very familiar with the structure of the IB system.

Rest assured, IB students. If you score a 5, 6, or 7 on your higher level exams, you'll be getting some credit for your work here at UVa. Students can get anywhere from three to eight credits for scores from either the AP or the IB.