Sophomores decide between AP, IB

Mary Perez, Reporter

This week is the deadline for next year’s class registration, but sophomores must make an additional decision: whether to participate in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme or enroll in Advanced Placement courses.

International Baccalaureate is globally-recognized program that affords students comprehensive course offerings and may result in an additional diploma at the end of two years, according to Programme Coordinator Devin DeMartini Cooke.

“When you think of IB as a course, it’s [academic concepts] that you’re working with, but it’s also the critical thinking skills — literary analysis, communication of knowledge, and how you present the things that you’re learning,” DeMartini Cooke said.

The AP track is more suited for students who wish to focus on certain topics, according to DeMartini Cooke.

“AP’s are great for students who really enjoy a certain subject and is really great for specific dates and facts and memorization,” DeMartini Cooke said. “It’s for students who are less interested in the deeper questions, but more interested in really getting into one area of study.”

A benefit of taking IB courses is that they allow students to learn more about themselves, as well as their learning processes and how topics are connected, according to Spanish teacher Mary Bicanic.

“From my perspective, IB seems to be a little more focused on skills like self-reflection, self awareness, and interconnectedness between disciplines, whereas AP seems to dive really deeply into one discipline,” Bicanic said.

IB offers students an opportunity to take courses similar to APs, but allows students to reflect on their learning styles, according to sophomore Sydney Caba.

“It was explained to me that a lot of how IB works was there’s a lot of reflection on how you learn, what you’re doing to learn, and what activities you’re doing outside of school,” Caba said. “I like the idea that IB is more discussion-based.”

Both AP and IB offer good courses and will benefit students in college, according to DeMartini Cooke.

“It’s one of those win-win situations when you’re at a Sacred Heart school that has goals and criteria a forward thinking innovation around education and the way students learn,” DeMartini Cooke said. “You’re gonna get a lot of the things IB offers in other classes like APs.”