“Great opportunities make great men!”

Jean Jacques Rousseau (French philosopher)

 

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), offered and continuously updated by the International Baccalauerate Organization (IBO) established in 1968. Implemented in many schools in almost all countries of the world, the program has international validity. The program was designed to cultivate international mindedness, and to prepare students for change culturally and geographically, throughout their lives.

IB Program consists of three parts: PYP (Primary Years Program) covering an range of 3-11; MYP (Middle Years Program) covering ages 11 and 16; and DP (Diploma Program) for students in 16-19 age range, which is offered during the last two years of high school education.

 

The IB program, aiming to provide the students with the best preparation for university and beyond, remains the only academic program which bears the title "international". Students who fulfill the requirements of the program and pass the centralized exams acquire the self discipline required for university education, and lifelong learning.

 

The IB Program is implemented in 4583 schools accredited by IB in 146 countries around the world. There are 44 schools in Turkey that have attained IB standards and are authorized to offer the program through supervision. Tarsus American College is the only IB-authorized school in the Mediterranean region of Turkey.

 

Tarsus American College, in line with its mission and vision, aims to raise individuals who will serve a peaceful world characterized by equality. Cooperation with other schools, governments and international organizations within the scope of the IB Program directly serves this purpose.

 

Thanks to the 'international' nature of the program, students are provided with the opportunity of admission into prestigious universities in America and Europe. Some students who complete IB with a certain score may be eligible for credits at the university with some of their IBDP courses while other universities offer IB graduates the very important privilege of being exempt from the freshman year. In recent years, many of our IB graduates took advantage of these opportunities and were exempted from some courses in their universities.

 

The greatest advantage of IB students who plan to complete their post-secondary education in Turkey is the best preparation for the university entrance examination and to have the opportunity to study in their desired field. In addition, some foundation universities in our country provide scholarship opportunities for students who have successfully graduated from the IB Program to encourage these candidates to choose their school.

 

Each part of the IB program has a specific objective and evaluative purpose. The objectives of the program as a whole can be listed as follows:

 

  • provide an internationally recognized qualification for admission to higher education.
  • educate the whole student, by giving importance to their mental, personal, emotional and social development
  • most importantly, improve the skills of enquiry and reflection, as well as critical thinking.

 

Requirements for the Completion of the Diploma Program:

 

  • Taking six courses in total: three high-level and three at the standard-level; completion of a minimum of 240 hours (60 minutes) for high level courses and a minimum of 150 hours for standard-level courses,
  • Completion of the 100-hour Information Theory (TOK) course, which deals with what information is, analyzing thoughts and judgments in various fields as well as personal experiences of students,
  • Successful completion of the CAS component: the "Creativity, Activity and Service" activities which cover the two years of the program and require continuity.
  • Presentation of an “extended essay”, not exceeding 4000 words, on a topic determined by the student or on a research question which again the student has planned, which the student is plans, conducts.

 

 

B- The Circular Model of the IB Programme

 

THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE (TOK)

 

  • The requirement of Theory of Knowledge course (TOK) is one of the three core components at the center of the educational philosophy of the diploma program.
  • The aim of the course is to teach various ways of knowing, and to develop the skills of critical thinking about the areas of knowledge, and of addressing the role and nature of knowledge in their own culture and cultures, and even in a wider context.
  • The TOK course, which brings a comprehensive and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, is almost entirely comprised on questions. At the core of these questions lies the question "How do we know?"
  • Enquiry is mainly aimed at developing the habit of in-depth analysis and synthesis of content in the other lessons or topics.
  • There are no true or false answers in this course, only standards for the concepts of judgment, defense and knowledge.
  • The TOK course also plays an important role in ensuring the consistency of the student towards the Diploma Program. Examining the nature of knowledge in TOK classes opens up academic subject areas, linking them together and showing students how to make their own knowledge more applicable.
  • To qualify for the diploma, the student should take 100 hours of TOK classes over the course of the two-year program.

 

 

CAS - CREATIVITY, ACTIVITY, COMMUNITY SERVICE

 

The "holistic education" at the core of the IB philosophy is largely delivered through CAS.

The purpose of the CAS is to help the student develop the IB learner profile features (inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, reflective).

CAS is one of the core elements of the Diploma Programme, which consists of 3 strands. It is compulsory for IBDP students to participate in several activities under all of these three strands during a period of 18 months and to complete a CAS project that is related to at least one of these areas with a duration of one month minimum.

Creativity: ''exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance''. It includes all extracurricular activities. Visual and performing arts, music, digital design, creative writing, film-making, culinary arts, crafts, ...  can be given as examples of the creativity strand.

Activity: ''physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle''. It includes all extracurricular activities. All kinds of sports, dance, gardening and nature, activities with animals, ... can be given as examples of the activity strand.

Service: ''collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need''. Service activities require doing things for others and working with others, and they need to take care of themselves. Activities such as environmental projects, earthquake aids, first aid courses, civil defense, visits to nursing home and child care institutions, patient visits to hospitals, voluntary work in museums, lecturing to students in need of funding, fund-raising activities, UNICEF ... can be given as examples of the community service strand.

 

CAS Outcomes

 

In order to complete CAS successfully, students must achieve the following 7 learning outcomes through CAS activities which last for 18 months:

  • Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
  • Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
  • Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
  • Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
  • Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
  • Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
  • Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions

Students may not demonstrate all of the 7 outcomes in each CAS experience. However, they must demonstrate that they have achieved all of the above-mentioned outcomes in their CAS Portfolios.

 

CAS Project

 

A CAS project is a collaborative, well-considered series of sequential CAS experiences, engaging students in one or more of the CAS strands of creativity, activity, and service. CAS students must be involved in at least one CAS project during their CAS programme.

Students must complete at least one CAS Project, which lasts at least one month during the IB Diploma Program.

A CAS project can be related to only one of the CAS strands: creativity, activity, or service or it might be a long-term and planned project that includes two or three of these strands with a duration of at least for month.

A CAS project involves collaboration between a group of students or with members of the wider community. Students work as part of a team, with all members being contributors.

Students must be involved in all CAS stages for their CAS projects.

 

CAS Stages

 

 Students must go through the following 5 stages in their CAS experiences and CAS projects.

  • Investigation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Reflection
  • Presentation/Demonstration

Before designing the CAS Project, students are expected to describe a CAS experience, their investigations and preparations and how their CAS experience and CAS Project will be translated into life; reflect on their thoughts and emotions throughout their CAS experience and CAS Project and present their CAS experiences and CAS Projects.

 

CAS Portfolio

 

All CAS students are expected to maintain and complete a CAS portfolio (the design of which is based on the student’s choice) as evidence of their engagement with CAS experiences and achievement of the seven CAS learning outcomes during 18 months. The CAS portfolio must also reveal how students have developed the attributes of the IB learner profile.

 

EXTENDED ESSAY (EE)

 

  • It is an important part of the IB program which each student needs to complete to qualify for the diploma.
  • Extended Essay can be defined as an in-depth study on a limited topic within a course with the length of maximum of 4000 words.
  • The Extended Essay is conducted under the supervision of a teacher advisor at the school and develops students individually, academically and intellectually. This study, which helps to increase the confidence of the learner himself, also facilitates the process of transition from high school to the university through the methods used in the evaluation of the research and information obtained.
  • Although it does include an independent and detailed study, the thesis should mainly be based on the student's ability to conduct research, to convey ideas and information in a logical and consistent manner, as well as the ability to make a presentation in the framework of standards, and ultimately, based on their own interpretation. (Conveying personal interest and ideas and development of discussions are given emphasis).