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What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP)? The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) launched in 1968 with the essential mission to prepare high school learners for success in higher education with an educational foundation in global mindedness (The International Baccalaureate, 2015). The Programme challenges eleventh and twelfth graders to think globally as they grow in knowledge, and to participate holistically in each of their six subject areas aligned with ten learner profiles: inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective (The International Baccalaureate, 2015). 

The IB “aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world though intercultural understanding and respect” (IBO

How popular is the IB Programme? The United States has 1,569 IB World Schools with one or more of the three IB Programmes: 440 schools offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP), 544 schools offer the Middle Years Programme (MYP), and 828 schools offer the Diploma Programme (DP) (The International Baccalaureate, 2015). In terms of private schools, approximately 40 private schools in the US, among which only a handful of US Islamic schools, are verified with an IB Programme, including American Youth Academy.

How do universities treat IB credits? Many universities in the US and throughout the world grant college credit to students who attain the IB Diploma and/or score well on Higher Level IB exams. Students should address these issues directly with any university they are interested in. For more information, they may visit online

For students applying to Florida universities: According to the state of Florida law Title XLVIII Chapter 1007, “Students shall be awarded a maximum of 30 semester credit hours pursuant to this subsection. The specific course for which a student may receive such credit shall be specified in the statewide articulation agreement required by s. 1007.23(1).”  Typically, 30 semester credit hours equal one year of fulltime, college-level study. Generally, students who earn the IB Diploma increase their college entry to a sophomore status rather than beginning as freshmen. Students who do not pursue the IB DP may have their specific courses evaluated for college credit.

For students applying to University of South Florida, visit to view credit-by-exam equivalents.

How successful are IB students when applying for university admissions? Recipients of the IB diploma enjoy a high rate of acceptance at both state and private universities. In addition, some universities offer scholarships to IB DP graduates. IB students test in six subject areas and must receive an average 4 out of 7 on exams. There are other specifics regarding these scores - such as internal assessments; and, other types of evaluations such as a written reflection for Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) projects, an essay for Theory of Knowledge (TOK), an Extended Essay (EE). More information can be found at

What is the IB DP curriculum? Students earning the IB diploma must complete an Extended Essay and perform CAS hours (creativity, action and service) in addition to a Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class as a core curriculum. The Theory of Knowledge class is unique to IB and it challenges students to question the basis of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases of knowledge, and to develop the ability to analyze evidence that is expressed in rational argument. In addition to the core curriculum, students take classes from six subject groups.

The IB is a rigorous but broad and balanced curriculum in which students study languages (mother tongue plus a foreign language), a social science, an experimental science, mathematics, and normally an arts subject. American Youth Academy offers an extra language acquisition course, Spanish ab initio, as a substitute for an arts subject. For course descriptions of American Youth Academy’s IB DP Programme, visit

What resources are there for the overwhelmed student? Generally students are overwhelmed due to the mismanagement of time or from procrastinating, especially when several things are due around the same time. It is important for students to keep a planner for due dates of projects and tests. In addition, students will have access to ManageBac, an online communication tool for teacher, student, and parent communication to keep everyone on track. Students are also encouraged to begin studying for an exam or start a project well before it is due. These simple things can make a big difference. The first thing a student should do when he or she is struggling in a class is to discuss it with the teacher. Students can attend after school tutoring on-site, get outside tutoring on their own, or form study groups with classmates. Students are encouraged to communicate with AYA’s Guidance Counselor and IB Coordinator as well. At AYA, we are one professional team that is serving the best interest of our students.

What is the difference between AYA’s Pre-IB Programme and the IB DP Programme? AYA’s Pre-IB Programme focusses on research, writing, time-management, and leadership skills beginning in 10th grade. Students begin their sophomore year with a visit to University of South Florida’s library to familiarize themselves with college level resources; they will also participate in team building activities, will be taught how to use planners to organize their time, and will learn how to apply American Psychological Association (APA) research and writing skills to become more efficient critical thinkers and writers.

AYA’s IB DP Programme is offered only to high school juniors and seniors focusing on the six subject groups along with its core, in addition to Qur’an and Islamic Studies.  Although there are many “Pre-IB” Programmes, the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) does not officially recognize a “Pre-IB” Programme. IB World Schools are, however, encouraged to prepare students for its rigorous Programmes. As an IB World School, American Youth Academy has created AYA’s Pre-IB Programme to specifically address academic needs based on historical and behavioral data typical of its student population.

What can guardian/parent(s) do to help their children be successful in the IB Programme? The IB Programme is rigorous but it should not be overwhelming. Part of the students’ normal progress in the Programme is learning how to manage their time and activities. Through AYA’s Pre-IB Programme students learn to manage course work and daily activities in order to make them successful when they begin their IB DP courses.

However, parents can assist in many ways. It is recommended that parents stay aware of their children’s academic progress through the use of ManageBac to monitor grades and activities online. A lack of progress is always easier to address before it goes on for a long period of time. Parents are always encouraged to attend Meet the Teacher events so they can get to know their child’s teachers, classroom expectations and grading policies. If questions arise regarding a student’s progress, the first person to contact is the classroom teacher. Most issues can be best resolved in this manner. AYA’s Guidance Counselor and the IB Coordinator are also available to help whenever needed.

A motivated student with a quiet place to study and enough time to do so generally does well. Additionally, it is important that students have a scheduled study time and use a weekly planner. It is also important that students are eating healthy foods, have proper health care and get as much rest as needed.

Note: All applicants to the IB Programme must have already applied and be accepted at American Youth Academy.

For more information, please contact:

Shabeah Usmanali or by phone at 1- 813-978-9282 ext. 205