SIG Focus: International Baccalaureate

From the March 22, 2017 NACAC Bulletin:

Co-Leaders of the International Baccalaureate Special Interest Group:
Pamela Joos, Washington International School (DC)
Marie Vivas, International Baccalaureate Organization

NACAC Special Interest Groups (SIGs) nurture the growing diversity in our association by providing “micro” communities where members can network and add value to their membership experience. These smaller subsets of members are formed for the purpose of knowledge sharing and discussion among members with similar interests whether they are specific subjects, issues or type of institution, or students they serve.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Special Interest Group provides a forum for interested parties to learn more about the IB, have questions answered by a representative from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) and to share best practices among colleagues.

The IB SIG has a truly international membership united in the common goal of fostering an understanding of our programmes and the diversity of schools and students engaged in IB education. While we generally have between 30 and 50 colleagues in attendance at our meeting at the NACAC national conference, our reach is much wider. Our community is spread out all over the world. Counselors from international schools, US, and Canadian, public schools, as well as colleagues from independent schools in North America, come together to discuss effective ways to promote university recognition of IB courses.

At our Columbus meeting last Fall, we shared our most recent initiatives:

  • Student College Access Workshop in the DC, MD, and VA area
  • Recent research around college success rates of low-income IB students.
  • Unveiling of the new suite of college recognition videos that will help schools market and support IB students/families in the college application process.
  • Getting involved with a local IB association and how it can help advance initiatives in your state: SL credit, larger IB legislation.

Our luncheon was sponsored by Minerva Schools which shared information on their unique higher education offerings.

Moving forward we would like to increase the numbers of higher education colleagues in our SIG. Right now, the group consists of mostly secondary folks with only about 15% university representatives. For our higher education colleagues this would be a great opportunity to network with a highly-dedicated group of professionals with a unique global perspective.