The International Baccalaureate Diploma program is a rigorous pre-university course of study that meets the needs of the highly motivated secondary school student. Designed as a comprehensive curriculum that allows its graduates to fulfill requirements of the various national system of education, the IB program is based on the pattern of no single country. It provides students of different linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds with the intellectual, social, and critical perspectives necessary for the adult world that lies ahead of them.
The education of the “whole person” takes on a special significance as we enter the twenty-first century when knowledge continues to expand dramatically; when advanced technologies and global economies have tied together vastly different cultures; when the world is bound too closely for provincial ideologies to guide political thought; when to exist in a world community requires appreciation and understanding of cultural diversity; and when cooperation alone will solve global problems. It is essential, therefore, that academic training provide students with the values and opportunities that will enable them to succeed in a competitive modern world.
All IB diploma candidates are required to engage in the study of languages, sciences, mathematics, and social studies in the final two years of the secondary schooling. The high standards implicit in the IB examinations assume high levels of achievement and preparation during the pre-IB program in 9th and 10th grade. This program is a deliberate compromise between the preference for specialization in some countries and the emphasis on breadth often preferred in others. The intent is that students should learn HOW to learn, HOW to analyze, HOW to reach considered conclusions about people, their languages and literature, their ways in society and the scientific forces of the environment.
Since the International Baccalaureate office was established in Geneva, Switzerland in 1965, the IB program has grown to over 3,060 participating schools in over 139 countries. There are now over 1,198 member schools in the United States. Florida has 68 IB diploma schools with well over 7,116 students, second only to California.
Students are often accorded advanced standing and college credit based on the IB work. For example, Florida universities award up to 30 credit hours for the IB diploma.