The IB Program

The IB Program

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) is a worldwide program that helps students prepare for the rigorous college experience. The IB diploma program is primarily aimed at 16-to-19-year-olds in 140 countries around the world including Judson High School, a school that also offers this program to students. 

Classes such as theory of knowledge, math application, interpretations, and modern standard learning Spanish are some of the IB courses Judson has to offer. Mrs. Sanchez-Ortiz is an IB teacher who takes care of the IB math classes at Judson High School.

“IB is a global initiative that has been around since at least 1986 at Judson High School. It is an advanced academic program that has a holistic approach to the development of the skills necessary to be successful in college and in careers in general. The program is offered to students in middle school and high school and in some cases elementary school as well. 

I’ve been teaching the IB courses for about eight years and I’ve been teaching the math portion of the IB program at Judson High School,” Sanchez-Ortiz said.  Judson High School boasts the second longest longest-standing program in the State of Texas.

IB programs offer curriculum frameworks and courses that are broad, balanced, and connected. The courses are similar to Advanced placement (AP) courses but have their differences. IB courses are taught differently than regular courses.

“A teacher has to teach an IB course with an inquiry-based approach in which the teacher asks a lot of questions and encourages students to ask a lot of questions. We try to develop overarching concepts that are going to be used in different branches, be it career-oriented learning or in life,” Sanchez-Ortiz said. 

The IB program boosts GPA, prepares students for college and could even offer college credits.

“There is a multiplier with taking IB classes almost like AP classes for the students GPA and in terms of gaining college credits there are two ways to gain college credit through IB. One way is through getting the high school IB diploma. It’s basically looking at everything from academics to commitment to the community around us and globally. So if they’re looking to get the IB diploma, the student will need to get a certain amount of points, about 21, accumulated by passing different paper examinations and submitting different paper investigations during the student’s senior year”, Sanchez-Ortiz said.

Students who are wondering whether they want to take an IB course or want to take all the IB courses may have questions regarding the program and why someone would want to take an IB class. 

“The first conversation with a student that is deciding whether to take IB courses is whether or not they are planning to go to college, if the student truly enjoys learning, last of my questions to students is are they ready to be challenged”, Sanchez-Ortiz said. 

IB courses benefit students in multiple ways including, preparation for college courses, life experiences, and career goals.

“The International Baccalaureate Program better prepares students for the rigor in college as opposed to AP classes. I’ve had the opportunity to teach both AP and IB classes and I think students that take IB courses are, in fact, better prepared for the college experience compared to students that take AP courses.  They’re both good, but IB is better in my opinion,” Sanchez-Ortiz said.

An IB education allows for students to study abroad in countries other than the U.S. and have college credits transfer over. Multiple colleges across the world accept IB credits as college credits but not all. If you’re looking to sign up for IB courses at Judson High School, contact Ms. McJilton in G225. 

What Is an IB Education? – Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.