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BREADCRUMB

IB FOR THE LONG HAUL

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February 21, 2024

For information on admission to Notre Dame Prep, please click here.

Research shows that U.S. IB students are outperforming students nationally in university enrollment, persistence and graduation; a common thread that also emerged from participant life stories was that the IB has the potential to powerfully shape the lives long term of students who participate in its programs.

Last updated by IB: 06 June 2023

A major research project sponsored by International Baccalaureate and conducted by Prof. Katie Wright (University of Melbourne) studied long-term outcomes for those who participated in IB programs.

The study explored IB alumni perceptions of their professional pathways, involvement in community service activities, attitudes towards lifelong learning, as well as the ways in which the IB may have shaped their personal values, beliefs about diversity and overall worldview. The findings of Wright's research are summarized below along with links to both her research summary and the full report.

This in-depth qualitative study investigated the longer-term outcomes of participation in International Baccalaureate (IB) programs on the lives of former IB students. A qualitative life history approach was employed to generate rich narrative accounts of people’s experiences of the IB and reflections on its lasting effects.

The central aim of the project was to explore perceptions of the long-term impact of participation in IB programs in key areas of the lives of former IB students. These include their professional pathways, involvement in community service activities, attitudes towards lifelong learning, as well as the ways in which the IB may have shaped their personal values, beliefs about diversity and overall worldview.

The IB at NDP

Notre Dame Prep's upper school has served as an IB ‘World School” since 2007 when it was first authorized by the IB organization to offer the Diploma Program. Its middle and lower schools became IB-authorized in the years that followed. In addition, NDP is the only Catholic school in the United States with all three IB curriculum levels, the Primary Years Program, the Middle Years Program and the Diploma Program. 

Colleges and universities recognize the IB program, its significance, and what it takes to participate in it. The IB designation on a student’s high school transcript is a noteworthy achievement, and it stands out and signals to admission officers that you are a dedicated and advanced learner. Many colleges and universities in the U.S. offer benefits to IB diploma graduates, such as college credit, scholarships and/or tuition assistance. Some universities allow IB graduates to enter as second-year students. 

IB for college prep 

The acceptance rate of IB students into Ivy League universities is up to 18% higher than the total population acceptance rate. The gap is even more significant for top-ranked universities outside of the Ivy League, where it is 22% higher, on average. Research shows that U.S. Diploma Program students are outperforming students nationally in university enrollment, persistence and graduation.

Findings: International Baccalaureate programs: Longer-term outcomes, based on a research report prepared for the IB by Katie Wright, The University of Melbourne

The majority of former IB students in this study reported a multiplicity of outcomes from their participation in IB programs, with some respondents experiencing profound and long-lasting effects. Examples of longer term impacts include influences on academic and career trajectories, as well as dispositional orientations and social values. 

In broad terms, the findings from this study support previous research, which suggests the IB may produce a range of enduring student outcomes. These include the development of international-mindedness and a broader perspective on the world, critical thinking, analytical and writing skills, and positive dispositions towards lifelong learning. 

More instrumental dimensions, notably advantages for university admission and earning advanced credits, were also frequently mentioned, as was the benefit of IB studies for university preparedness. Although the influence of the IB on alumni in this study was varied and multifaceted, a common thread that emerged from participant life stories was that the IB has the potential to powerfully shape the lives of students who participate in its programs.

Research summary

Full report

For information on admission to Notre Dame Prep, please click here.

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School 
Notre Dame Preparatory School is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School's upper school enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame Prep's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School, visit the school’s home page at www.ndpma.org.