IB DIPLOMA PROGRAM
International Baccalaureate Program at CAC Department
Enrollment in the IB Diploma Programme at CAC is available to all students as long as the prerequisites have been met for individual courses. However, recommendations for enrollment in the IB Diploma or individual IB courses are made by the teachers, counselors, and IB Coordinator based upon previous academic performance. Specific course selections are made during the Spring Semester of Grade 10.
Students who elect to undertake the IB Diploma with its expectations within and beyond the classroom have chosen the most rigorous academic challenge available at CAC. Although the IB Diploma is designed to be accessible to all learners, it is a two-year comprehensive program that calls for a high degree of commitment. At CAC, we want all students to participate in our vibrant campus culture, but in order to do so, IB students must judiciously select their extracurricular activities. The homework, major assessments, and Diploma requirements will absorb many hours of any given week, and students must come into the IB Programme with an awareness of the workload.
Students may elect to participate in the IB program in one of two ways, either by Diploma or individual course (formerly called “Certificate”). IB courses are almost always two years in length. The IB courses are intended for Diploma candidates, and if there is limited space in an IB class, priority will be given to Diploma candidates. Every student in any IB class will undertake all IB requirements in order to keep the IB course label and, for Higher Level courses, the weight. All students taking two years of an IB course are required to complete all IB requirements and register with the IB for the subject(s), including sitting May examinations.
THE INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE DIPLOMA
In the two-year Diploma Program students will study six subjects, three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. Generally the subjects chosen at Higher Level will reflect the student's areas of greatest passion and academic strength. Standard Level subjects complement the Higher Level choices, but do not generally require the same degree of specialized knowledge and understanding. Students and parents should note that once the IB Diploma candidate receives his or her initial IB schedule, any change thereafter in the level or subject can jeopardize the IB Diploma. If a student requests alterations to an IB schedule, this can be done only in limited cases, under specific circumstances and timelines, and with approval from the IB Coordinator and HS Principal.
INDIVIDUAL OR GROUPS OF IB COURSES
Grade 11 students who elect to take certain IB courses may take any course at the Higher Level or Standard Level that fits into their schedule. Grades awarded in Higher Level courses are more acceptable for advanced placement at universities than those obtained from Standard Level courses. However, the commitment necessary to prepare for external examinations at either level will enhance university applications.
Students enrolled in IB courses may be required to sit mock exams in that subject. Format and length of mock exams depend on the subject area and level of the course.
ESTABLISHING AN IB PROGRAM FOR THE DIPLOMA
- You are advised to select your Higher Level courses first. The ones chosen will depend on interests, abilities and future educational plans. The details of each course should be examined by referring to the individual course description.
- Next, the selection of Standard Level subjects will be governed by the Higher Level subject choices as well as the offerings within the IB scheduled classes.
- The program selected should then be examined in light of the following considerations:
(a) No student may select the same subjects at both Higher and Standard Level.
(b) Students must satisfy CAC graduation requirements, particularly in terms of Health, Physical Education, and Visual and Performing Arts.
- Once a Diploma program has been provisionally decided upon, it should be checked with the subject teachers concerned to ensure that the subjects and levels chosen are suitable; teacher approvals are critical and must be considered seriously. The program selection will be checked by the IB Coordinator in order to determine whether it is possible within the IB regulations and the master schedule.
- In addition to registering for the six subjects, each Diploma candidate must register for the Theory of Knowledge course, participate actively in the CAS program and meet its requirements, and complete the Extended Essay.
- Diploma Program students who select two courses in Group 1 and earn at least a 3 in both are eligible to earn a bilingual IB Diploma.
A Note on School Supported Self-Taught (SSST) Language A SL
The SSST Language A course is only offered by IB as an SL and is intended for native or near-native speakers of languages other than English and Arabic (the other Language A offerings at CAC). Although modified for independent study, the SSST course follows the Language A: Literature SL course quite closely. Students choosing this option should feel confident in their ability to read, write, speak, and analyze literature in the target language and in their ability to work independently to set and meet goals, complete the assessments, and meet deadlines.
All SSST students within one language must follow the same syllabus of texts. SSST Language A will appear as a pass/fail class on each IB Diploma candidate’s CAC transcript where achieving a pass is conditional on students regularly meeting with the IB Coordinator and making progress toward completion of the course. For additional questions, please consult the IB Coordinator.
The school will only be able to provide limited support for SSST language, and there may not be a teacher at CAC who speaks the respective language. Parents need to be prepared to pay for an individual tutor for help progressing through syllabus requirements.