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School’s IB CP Program Grows in Popularity

%0AA+Different+Path%3A+Juniors+Clara+Cullerton%2C+Ojochilemi+Okoka+and+Anna+Topfl+are+part+of+the+increasingly+popular+IB+Career+Path+program.+The+program+has+grown+from+26+students+last+year+to+74+students+this+year.+

A Different Path: Juniors Clara Cullerton, Ojochilemi Okoka and Anna Topfl are part of the increasingly popular IB Career Path program. The program has grown from 26 students last year to 74 students this year.

A Different Path: Juniors Clara Cullerton, Ojochilemi Okoka and Anna Topfl are part of the increasingly popular IB Career Path program. The program has grown from 26 students last year to 74 students this year.

Olivia Chewning

Olivia Chewning

A Different Path: Juniors Clara Cullerton, Ojochilemi Okoka and Anna Topfl are part of the increasingly popular IB Career Path program. The program has grown from 26 students last year to 74 students this year.

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The IB Diploma Program (DP), infamous for hours of homework, Extended Essay, and the shiny certificate given to students who survive. Two years of preparation and stress looks really good on college applications, but there is a popular new alternative. The IB Career Path (CP) program is perfect for students who are interested in IB, but might want more variation and control over their schedule.

As opposed to the DP program, which requires 6 out of 8 classes to be filled with IB courses, CP allows students the freedom of taking a minimum of two. “It gives so much more flexibility with classes and lets you take ones that appeal to you. And the best part? They don’t have to be IB,” said junior Anna Topfl.

All students in CP are required to write a research paper and take a unique class, Theory of Knowledge for DP and Personal and Professional Skills for CP, but there are a few key differences in CP. The newer pathway requires a class for the career path the student is in, like graphic design or business. Not only that, but doing CP means taking a language isn’t necessary, unlike it is for the Diploma Program.  “Why did I do CP? I just really didn’t feel like dying in a language for another year,” said junior Alexander Sweeney.

The CP program is dramatically growing in popularity and the total number of students in the program has tripled. The overall amount of students across the cohort — drawing both juniors and seniors — is now 74 compared to 26 last year.

Some students are attributing the growth to the addition of a new pathway, specifically Fine Arts, which has been added to existing Graphic Design, JROTC, AVTF and Business. Fine arts allows IB CP students to pursue their interests in orchestra, band or visual arts. “Our school has such a strong Fine Arts department that I thought it would be very popular to the students if we added the Fine Arts as a CP option,” said Danielle Costarides, IB coordinator at North Atlanta High School. “I know we had a few transfer because of the Visual Arts Pathway.”

The IB Career Path program is one with more adaptability and also gives students a chance to feel out more than just IB courses in their junior and senior years. Whether it is because of the added Fine Arts path or because kids just really don’t like language, the numbers don’t lie.

As if life doesn’t give us all enough decisions, now there are two good options where the school’s IB program is concerned: CP or DP? Either way, students win.

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School’s IB CP Program Grows in Popularity