by Emi F '09

Baccalaureate School for Global Education Say What?!?

Is it just me, or do you dread being asked what school you go to?
Aunts, uncles, friends, ask you innocuosly, not knowing that this question will take them by the hand and lead them into a further state of bewilderment. You tell them where it is, you tell them that it is ‘The Baccalaureate School for Global Education at least ten times and still, they stare at you, stupefied. So for all of you struggling with this, here it is, this is how you answer them. This school enforces a program that leaves students friendless, overstressed, and addicted to coffee, but it is all worthwhile because teachers say, “It will definitely help you in college!”
On a more serious note, it is generally the highest pre-college education that a student can acquire. It is an international program that is said to be given in 2,145 schools, servicing over 500,000 students in 125 countries ( In general, the main purpose of IB is to supply students with a higher level of education that will serve as challenging and time consuming but worthwhile in the very end.
The IBO, International Baccalaureate Organization states in its website that it is their wish to “help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.” Yes, it sounds like a load of junk just trying to advertise this grueling program, but indeed, rumor has it from our graduating seniors, class of ‘07, that it has made their college life a whole lot easier.
But for now, explaining this program can be quite a handful so here is the 411. This program is made up of three sub-programs, IB Primary Years program, IB Middle Years Program, and IB Diploma Program. The
Primary Years program encompasess children ages 3-12; The Middle Years
Program encompasess children ages 11-16; The Diploma Program encompases children ages 16-19. In the United States, there are 218 schools which offer the Middle Years Programme and 556 which schools
offer the Diploma Programme. Being that we are in a school which
presently houses the Middle Years Program and the Diploma Program
these will be my main focus. six main subjects: Language A1, Second
Language, Individuals and Societies, Experimental Sciences, Math, and
last but not least, Arts and Electives. Though these are subjects given generally in all schools the content which these subjects encompass is far more complex and goes further than the content taught in other schools. More specifically, our courses are split into HL, higher level and SL, standard level. The availability of such choices in education allows for a more in depth understanding on certain subjects. Higher Level History (encompassed in Individuals and Societies) for example, a subject which I am taking, has a larger focus on the History of Americas, an asset when taking the regents in
In addition to these six subjects however, are 4 extra tasks that an IB student is forced to endure: Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge,
IB Tests and their myriad CAS hours. Lucky for the youngsters, all of these extra tasks, except for the 150 hours of CAS, are performed in the Diploma Program. Extended Essay is basically a paper that students must write over the course of two years. It requires a focus on one subject one question, written by them, steadfast research and an established reasonable argument all in 4000 words or less. This task, is very difficult, IB’s specialty. Next is Theory of Knowledge, a class that all Diploma Program students take which generally focuses on ‘epistemology,’ or the study of the foundation of knowledge; Sample
questions: How do you know what you know? How do you really know you
know what you know is true? Quite interesting I’d say, can’t really say much about the work because I am yet to take that class, but be still BSGE-ers I will be sure to write another very interesting article describing it in greater depth. CAS, depending on which level you are stands for 1 of 2 things: Community And Service, or Creativity, Action, Service. As I mentioned before, the Middle Years Program must serve 150 hours of Community and Service while the Diploma program must do 150 hours of Creativity, Action and Service.
The latter is more complex for it is harder to find time to get hours for creativity-the arts and writing; Action-sports; Service-serving your community. Last but not least are the IB Tests taken in June of your senior year. They are taken in every subject and are the final and most crucial assessment of the IB schools. In conclusion, if you fail any of these things, you will not get the IB Diploma, only the certificate. However, if you do pass everything, then you will be a happy well-rounded, knowledgeable graduate, that Peter Wilson will be
proud of.
Yes, the IB Diploma is not like an ice cold coca-cola in a dessert, it isn’t the best game in Chucke cheese, but it does have three advantages: It makes college life easier- being in this school assigns so much work and places so much pressure on its students that it inevitable that  they will learn how to manage their time and work, a skill highly necessary to succeed in college. Second, you gain more prior knowledge, according to Peter, schools will find IB Diploma and Certificate receivers more well-rounded and knowledgeable people.Third, some universities will allow graduates with the IB Diploma to enter the school skipping freshman year, meaning you graduate faster, and have a headstart on all those other ‘lucky people’ who went to regular schools.
Therefore, IB is something you should be proud of. When someone asks you where you go, don’t be afraid to give them the 411, because after they get past their confusion, they’ll be sure to envy your high quality education and want to be just like you.

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