International Baccalaureate Diploma Program

Ib dept video.mp4

International Baccalaureate Diploma Program

Interested Students Students interested in pursuing the Diploma Program (DP) should see any secretary to make an appointment with the IB Coordinator.  Interested students should also notify their H.S. counselor immediately for proper planning of coursework prior to IB entrance.  All sophomore students planning to participate in the full IB Diploma Program should complete the IB Diploma Program application.

The Diploma Program (DP) is a rigorous and challenging academic program provided to students in over 100 countries around the globe.  This two year, comprehensive program is for students in grades 11 and 12 who would share an educational experience that promotes critical thinking, open-mindedness, research, intercultural understanding and reflection.  Students who would pursue the full diploma or who would choose to take individual IB courses would receive outstanding preparation for further academic study and success in their future careers.  Successful completion of the program would allow students to be considered for preferred admission to many colleges and universities.  For specific credit information, students should contact each university individually.

IB Options

Students at West Ottawa High School have three options:  the full IB Diploma Program, individual IB Diploma Program courses, or completion of the course for high school credit.  Students should consider their post-secondary educational goals and choose the best option for their individual needs.  Students taking the full DP will be required to sit for the IB External Assessments (exams) in May.  Students taking individual IB Diploma Program courses will choose whether or not to sit for the IB External Assessment in May.  Priority for scheduling in IB courses will be given first to full IB Diploma Program candidates.  Any remaining seats will be available for Diploma Program course students or students wishing to complete the course for high school credit.

The Diploma Program

Throughout grades 11 and 12, students would be primarily taking IB courses.  Students would be provided with a broad and balanced academic program in six core areas with an international perspective. 

IB Course Offerings at West Ottawa High School

Group 1:  Language A1

Group 2: Second Language

Group 3: Individuals and Societies

Group 4: Experimental Sciences

Group 5: Mathematics and Computer Science

Group 6:  The Arts

In addition to their IB courses, students must fulfill the following requirements to receive an IB Diploma

1.  Theory of Knowledge:  The focus in the IB Theory of Knowledge course is to examine what we know in the various fields of knowledge and how we know it.  It challenges students to reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and areas of knowledge, and to consider the role which knowledge plays in a global society.  The course encourages students to become aware of themselves as thinkers, to become aware of the complexity of knowledge, and to recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly connected world.

2.  Extended Essay:  Students research and write a 4,000 word essay based on a self-selected topic.  The Extended Essay introduces students to college level research.


3.  Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS):  The CAS element of the IB Diploma Program places an emphasis on experiential learning outside of the classroom.  The CAS program encourages students to share their energy and special talents with others.  Each IB Diploma candidate must complete a minimum of 150 hours during 2 years (i.e. 3 to 4 hours a week).  The hours should be evenly distributed among Creativity, Activity, and Service.