Palmdale High School

Counseling » International Baccalaureate Program Information

International Baccalaureate Program Information

Students throughout the district, at any school, have the opportunity to qualify for the international Baccalaureate Diploma Program.  Students must complete a course of study (located on this page), meet the requirements, and transfer to Quartz Hill High School for their junior and senior years to be in the IB program.

 

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is a rigorous pre-university course of studies, leading to examinations that meet the needs of highly-motivated secondary school students between the ages of 16 and 19 years. Designed as a comprehensive two-year curriculum that allows its graduates to fulfill requirements of various national education systems, the diploma model is based on the pattern of no single country but incorporates the best elements of many. The program is available in English, French and Spanish.

 

The curriculum is displayed in the shape of a hexagon with six academic areas surrounding the core. Subjects are studied concurrently and students are exposed to the two great traditions of learning—the humanities and the sciences [Excerpt from International Baccalaureate Organizations History Course Description, 1996]

 

The six academic areas are Language A1 (Group 1), Language A2 (Group 2), Individuals and Societies (Group 3), Experimental Sciences (Group 4), Mathematics (Group 5), and The Arts and Electives (Group 6). These six academic areas surround the core of the program—the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, and the Creativity, Action, Service component (CAS).

 

Diploma candidates are required to select one subject from each of the six subject groups. At least three and not more than four are taken at higher level (HL), the others at subsidiary or standard level (SL). HL courses represent 240 teaching hours, while SL courses cover 150 hours. By arranging work in this fashion, students are able to explore some subjects in depth and some more broadly over the two-year period; this is a deliberate compromise between the early specialization preferred in some national systems and the breadth found in others.

 

Distribution requirements ensure that the science-oriented student is challenged to learn foreign language and that the natural linguist becomes familiar with laboratory procedures. While overall balance is maintained, flexibility in choosing higher level concentrations allows the student to pursue areas of personal interest and to meet special requirements for university entrance.

 

Successful diploma candidates meet three requirements in addition to the six subjects. The interdisciplinaryTheory of Knowledge (TOK) course is designed to develop a coherent approach to learning which transcends and unifies the academic areas and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives. The extended essay of some 4000 words offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at the university level. Participation in the school’s Creativity, Action Service (CAS) program encourages students to be involved in sports, artistic pursuits and community service work.

 

For detailed information, please speak with any one of our counselors and visit the IB website directly at:

 

 International Baccalaureate Program Info