"Imagine a worldwide community of schools, educators and students with a shared mission to empower young people with the values, knowledge and skills to create a better and more peaceful world.  This is the International Baccalaureate (IB).

    IB programmes aim to provide an education that enables students to make sense of the complexities of the world around them, as well as equipping them with the skills and dispositions needed for taking responsible action for the future.  They provide an education that crosses disciplinary, cultural, national and geographical boundaries, and that champions critical engagement, stimulating ideas and meaningful relationships."

    (IBO, "What is an IB education?", pg. 7)

    The IB Program at Cactus Shadows High School offers students the opportunity to earn either the full Diploma, or Certificates in individual courses.  Diploma Candidates must select one course from each of six subject groups, with a minimum of three studied at the Higher Level (HL), and three at the Standard Level (SL).  Additionally, Diploma Candidates are required to complete the three core components of the IB program:  a two-semester Theory of Knowledge course; an Extended Essay; and a CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) project. 


    At Cactus Shadows High School, all Juniors and Seniors are encouraged to enroll in IB courses; there is absolutely no application process.  However, some IB courses have prerequisites that students must meet in order to ensure success - for example, students must have completed Algebra 3/4 before they are eligible to enroll in IB Math SL.  Any questions regarding specific prerequisites or courses should be addressed to the IB Coordinator.  

    WHY IB?

    The Diploma Program prepares students for effective participation in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society as they:

    • develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and ethically
    • acquire depth and breadth of knowledge through a course of study that includes six subject areas across a rigorous and internationally-minded curriculum
    • develop the skills and positive attitude toward learning that will prepare them for higher education
    • develop an awareness and appreciation of a variety of perspectives of people from diverse cultures through the study of two languages
    • make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the program's unique Theory of Knowledge course
    • engage in independent research on a topic of personal interest, which relates to one of the student's six DP subjects through the Extended Essay
    • show initiative, demonstrate perseverance, develop collaboration, problem-solving and decision-making skills, as well as make positive contributions to their local community through the CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) Program. 

    Additionally, recent research provides evidence that Diploma Program graduates pursue, and successfully complete postsecondary studies in higher proportions than other high school graduates. (Shah, Dean and Chen, 2010; HESA, 2011; Caspary, 2011; Edwards and Underwood, 2012; Coca et al, 2012) 


    The IB diploma is widely recognized by colleges and universities around the world as superior preparation for students to succeed at post-secondary institutions.

    The value of an IB education with Stanford University’s Debra Von Bargen

    "One of the advantages of an IB curriculum is its structure and quality.  It is a coordinated programme, well established, well known, and well respected.  We know the quality of IB courses, and we think the IB curriculum is terrific." -Christoph Guttentag, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Duke University

    "IB is well known to us for excellent preparations.  Success in an IB programme correlates well with success at Harvard.  We are always pleased to see the credentials of the IB Diploma Programme on the transcript." -Marilyn McGrath Lewis, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Harvard University

    "It is the 'best' high school prep curriculum an American school can offer." -Marilee Jones, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    IB credit policies vary by university or college.  ASU, U of A, GCU and NAU all offer credit for HL and some SL exams with scores of 4 or above.  Additionally, GCU offers automatic acceptance into their honors program to any student who earns the IB Diploma.  Further, a number of universities and colleges award 30 credits to students who passed their diploma program with 30 or more points. 


    It absolutely can be!  Please contact CSHS's IB Coordinator, Angela Thomas, to discuss your options.  (email address is available through the Staff Directory)