Long considered the go-to option for U.S. high school students who need challenging work beyond the standard curriculum, Advanced Placement courses are not the only option for an academic challenge. About 830 U.S. high schools offer the International Baccalaureate program, which also provides a rigorous set of courses, compared to nearly 14,000 public high schools (2012-2013 school year) that offer AP.
Some schools offer both, as educational objectives differ between the programs, with AP courses focusing more closely a particular subject, while IB courses take a more integrated approach. "In an AP class, you may look very deeply at an issue and look at it from multiple perspectives," says Matthew Nelson, director of advanced academics for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee. "In IB, it would probably be more, still looking at an issue, but you may be looking at an issue over time and how it has impacted other parts of the world and how there is that connectivity to it all," he says.
Another distinction: IB students can earn an IB diploma, which is recognized by colleges around the world. The College Board, which administers the AP program, may award an AP International Diploma certificate to U.S. students who wish to study overseas. Both IB and AP classes culminate in an exam, that may earn the student college credit, depending on her scores.
For a complete list of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and many other auxiliary standards available in the EdGate repository, visit http://correlation.edgate.com/standards/supplemental.html
By: Lisa Waugh