Programme Description Guide
- Theory and Philosophy
- The IB Learner Profile
- The Career-related Programme Model & Components
- Plymouth Whitemarsh High School CP Student
- Career-related Programme Details
- Earning a Certificate of the Career-related Programme of the international Baccalaureate
- Prerequisites for The IB Career-related Programme
- The Application Process
- Student Supports
- College Admissions
- Sample Schedules for Students
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Contact Information
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Career-related Programme (CP) is a comprehensive two-year curriculum for juniors and seniors which aims to prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing world by providing experiences to develop the skills necessary to become self-confident, skilled and career-ready individuals. The program is rooted in the belief of the International Baccalaureate mission which aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect (IB Mission Statement).
The Career-related Programme offers students the opportunity to select a career-related study pathway, take two IB Programme Courses and complete the Programme Core, a comprehensive curriculum of personal and professional skills, service learning, language development and reflective writing.
The International Baccalaureate is an international organization and its headquarters is located in Geneva, with Global Centers in Bethesda, Den Haag, and Singapore. Only schools who are officially approved by IB are authorized to offer curricula and present students for examinations to earn an IB certificate. In 2019, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School started the intensive application and authorization process to become an IB authorized school.
The International Baccalaureate Mission Statement
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
© International Baccalaureate, Overview of the Career-related Programme, December, 2015.
Plymouth Whitemarsh High School International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme's Mission Statement
Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PW) Career-related Programme (CP) aims to develop well-rounded, empathetic, lifelong learners, who are passionate about exploring global and local community issues. We are committed to supporting students’ personal growth by helping them to discover their unique career-related study and providing authentic experiences to develop and apply personal and professional skills, such as leadership, collaboration, and self-reflection. PW CP students are expected to take initiative, embrace risks, and overcome obstacles by reflecting, learning, and growing globally and locally in a supportive environment.
The aim of all IB Programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.
As IB learners we strive to be:
We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.
We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.
We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.
We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.
We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect and dignity and the rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.
We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of point of views, and we are willing to grow from the experience.
We show empathy, compassion, and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.
We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.
We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives- intellectual, physical and emotional- to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.
We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experiences. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.
The IB Learner profile represents 10 attributes valued by IB World Schools. We believe these attributes, and others like them, can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communities.
© International Baccalaureate, Overview of the Career-related Programme, December, 2015.
The Career-related Programme requires the study of at least two IB Programme courses alongside the unique Career-related Programme core and a career-related study.
© International Baccalaureate, 2015.
IB Programme Courses provide and enhance the theoretical underpinning and academic rigor of the programme.
The Career-related Programme Core aims to develop personal qualities and skills and professional habits required for lifelong learning.
The Career-related Study further supports the programme’s academic strength and provides practical, real-world approaches to learning in a career pathway.
The CP consists of comprehensive curricula and assessments which meets the needs of highly motivated, self-driven students who illustrate an affinity towards careers in the programme. Students will be expected to take initiative, embrace risk, and overcome obstacles by reflecting, learning, and growing in a supportive environment.
The successful International Baccalaureate student should:
- be hardworking;
- be self-motivated;
- possess the ability to be reliable and trustworthy;
- be comfortable taking risks;
- be independent;
- participate in school and community service;
- be open to new ideas and work well in a variety of groups and contexts;
- have the ability to communicate effectively;
- have interest in pursuing an offered career-related study;
- have international interest.
IB Programme Coursework
Students in the CP are expected to take two International Baccalaureate courses in their 11th and 12th grade year. Currently, the two courses are:
- IB Social and Cultural Anthropology
- A/B schedule course over 11th and 12th grade
- IB Weighted
- IB Math Approaches and Analysis
- Two semester course in 12th grade
- Prerequisite: Integrated 5A or Integrated 5H
- IB Weighted
Students will be assessed by external examinations, which are taken at the same time worldwide. Assessments will be scored on a 1 to 7 scale for each subject, and a score of 3 is needed for success on the evaluation.
The Career-related Programme Core
The components of the core are at the heart of the Career-related Programme and are designed to enhance students’ personal qualities and professional development.
The Career-related Programme core contextualizes the IB Programme courses and the career-related study and draws all aspects of the framework together. The core is designed to develop many of the characteristics and attributes described in the IB learner profile. All components of the core are mandatory.
Core Element # 1: Personal and Professional Skills (PPS)
The Personal and Professional Skills course aims to develop responsibility, practical problem-solving, effective intellectual habits, ethical understandings, perseverance, resilience, an appreciation of identity and perspective, and an understanding of the complexity of the modern world. Emphasis is on the development of skills needed to successfully navigate higher education, the workplace, and society.
- Personal and Professional Skills Course
- A/B schedule course over 11th and 12th grade
- Core Elements 2,3 & 4 will be supported in the PPS class
- IB Weighted
Core Element # 2: Service Learning (SL)
Service Learning is the practical application of knowledge and skills towards meeting an identified community need. Through service, students develop and apply personal and social skills in real-life situations involving decision-making, problem-solving, initiative, responsibility and accountability for their actions.
Students will be required to present a reflective service learning portfolio that will demonstrate the experiences, participation and growth surrounding their civic and community service while in the IBCP.
This is an opportunity for students to make a difference in their community and make a lasting impact in society.
A portfolio will illustrate the student’s achievement in the following learning outcomes:
- identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
- demonstrate participation with service learning experiences
- demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
- demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
- recognize and consider the ethics of choice and actions
A minimum of 50 hours is expected to be devoted to service learning and a portion of this time has been allocated during the PPS course.
Core Element # 3: Language Development (LD)
Language development ensures that all students have access and are exposed to an additional language, which is a central tenet of an IB education and will increase their understanding of the wider world. Students are encouraged to begin or extend the study of a language other than their best language that suits their needs, background and context. It develops students in the areas of oral, visual and written linguistic and communicative abilities.
Students may choose from a variety of options to explore language development and cultural proficiency including:
- Beginning or continue the study of a language in PWHS course;
- Participate in a self-study of language of their choosing;
- Collaborate with a peer mentor who speaks a different language.
A minimum of 50 hours is expected to be devoted to language development and a portion of this time has been allocated during the PPS course.
Core Element # 4: Reflective Project (RP)
The reflective project is an in-depth body of work produced over an extended period and submitted in year two of the Career-related Programme. Through the reflective project, students identify, analyze, discuss and evaluate an ethical dilemma associated with an issue from their career-related study. This work encourages students to engage in personal inquiry, intellectual discovery, creativity, action and reflection, and to develop strong thinking, research and communication skills. The reflective project is assessed using grades A to E, with A representing the highest level of achievement.
The reflective project aims to give students the opportunity to:
- produce an extended piece of work
- engage in personal inquiry, action and reflection on a specific ethical dilemma
- present a structured and coherent argument
- engage with local and/or global communities
- develop research and communication skills
- develop the skills of critical and creative thinking
A minimum of 50 hours is expected to be devoted to the reflective project and a portion of this time has been allocated during the PPS course.
Adopted from © International Baccalaureate, Overview of the Career-related Programme, December, 2015.
The career-related study prepares students for further or higher education, an internship or apprenticeship, or a position in a designated field of interest. It provides the opportunity for students to learn about theories and concepts through application and practice while developing broad-based skills in authentic and meaningful contexts. Students may choose from two career pathways.
Business Career-related Study:
Business career-related students will develop skills that relate to the business environment. Potential pathways may include entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, finance, accounting, personnel and management.
11th Grade Coursework:
H Marketing 2 (Prerequisite: Introduction to Business & Marketing 1)
H Accounting 2 (Prerequisite: Introduction to Business & Accounting 1)
12th Grade Coursework:
C* Entrepreneurship (Prerequisite: completion of at least three business courses) *IB Weighted
Design Technology Career-related Study:
Design Technology career-related students will develop skills in technologies to hone their abilities to design, develop, install, and maintain physical systems. Potential pathways include manufacturing, architecture, construction and robotics.
11th Grade Coursework:
H Product Design 2 (Prerequisite: Product Design 1)
H Computer Aided Drawing and Design 2 (CADD2) (Prerequisite: Computer Aided Drawing and Design 1)
12th Grade Coursework:
C* Innovation/Design Studio (Prerequisite: One of the following: H Product Design 2, H CADD 2) *IB Weighted
Upon successful completion of the program at the end of 12th grade, students will be awarded a certificate. The following requirements must be met by the student:
The candidate must complete the career-related study
The candidate has been awarded a grade of 3 or more in at least two of the IB Courses registered for the Career-related Programme
The candidate has been awarded a grade of at least D for the reflective project
Personal and Professional skills, service learning and language development requirements have been met
The candidate has not received a penalty for academic misconduct
The application process is designed to help sophomores in understanding the Career-related Programme and provide them with opportunities to reflect on their goals. In addition, the application serves to collect important data and permissions that are required by the IB Organization. If students are interested in the programme, they will complete the application by the designated due date.
Selection criteria may include an overview of a transcript, discipline history, attendance and overview of the student’s application items. Once all application requirements are complete, The CP Team will review them and determine acceptance status. The Team may also request an interview with the student during this process.
Students will be informed of acceptance status via school email prior to course selection.
Components of the application include:
- Student Information: Electronic Registration
- Declaration of Understanding
- IBCP Expectations and Requirements
- Academic Code of Integrity
- Permission to Release Data
- Permission to Inclusive Assessment Measures
- Obligation to Complete IB Assessments
- Personal Statement
- Recommendations (2)
The student application can be found on CSD’s website or by reaching out to Mrs. Duffy. Click here to send an email.
Any student may apply for the IB Career-related Programme. The support structures that are available at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School are also available to CP students, including academic support, Extended Learning Time, The Writing Center and bonus block sessions. Students also have access to community and school counselors and their teachers for support. English Language Learners additionally have the support of the English as a Second Language Department. Students with special learning needs have the added support of the Special Education Department.
The Career-related Programme is accessible to students with IEPS and 504 Plans. All students who intend to pursue the program are advised to consider the rigor and expectations as curricular decisions are made. Support documents in an IEP or 504 Plan should be designed with the intention of maximizing success in formal IB assessments. The International Baccalaureate Organization provides assessment accommodations according to its own standards, which may or may not be consistent with those documented in an IEP or 504 Plan. Only those assessment accommodations authorized by IB will be provided for IB assessments.
The International Baccalaureate Program was established initially as a means of providing a unified curriculum for families that are internationally mobile. The CP Certificate is highly regarded as an admission’s credential to universities throughout the world because of the academic rigor, focus on critical thinking, and real world skills it fosters. However, neither the IB nor Colonial School District asserts that following the IB curriculum or earning the CP Certificate represents a guarantee of college admission or the earning of advanced credit.
There are two inter-related considerations regarding universities’ consideration of IB work: admission and the granting of credit. In general, universities throughout the world admit students based on the strength of their high school curriculum and grades earned; IB is universally considered to be one of the most rigorous curricular options available to students.
Unlike Advanced Placement (AP) classes, IB classes were not designed to provide advanced placement or credit in college; rather, they were designed to provide a rigorous college-preparatory high school experience. However, colleges and universities in the US recognize that IB students are completing college-level work by US standards and may grant advanced credit based on the scores earned on IB assessments. Recognition of a student’s work in IB classes in conferring advanced credit varies substantially by institution. Students and parents are well-advised to review the policies of the colleges in which they are interested for additional information of IB credits in those institutions.
What is the difference between the Advanced Placement (AP) and IB programs?
The AP program is an American program that is content-driven. Its primary intention is to provide advanced placement in college in specific subjects. Students choose any number of AP courses depending on their specific strengths. College credit is given on the basis of results from standardized AP exams that are graded externally at the end of the academic year. The IB programme has a comprehensive, integrated curriculum of challenging work. It is only available at authorized schools whose policies are determined by international educators (the International Baccalaureate). Grades are given on the basis of internal assessments as well as externally assessed examinations. Advanced standing in colleges is a frequent by-product of success in IB courses, but not necessarily its goal. The IB Programme is guided by the mission statement and learner profile of the IB Organization (see “Theory and Philosophy” section). In addition, the College Board does not require that a student take an AP class in order to sit for the AP exam; the IB does require that a student take the IB course in order to take the IB assessments.
Can students take AP courses and participate in the CP Programme at PW?
Yes. Even though the CP Programme is comprehensive, there is still room in the schedule for students to take AP courses in their 11th and 12th grade year.
I’ve heard of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. How is the Career-related Programme different?
The International Baccalaureate Organization offers different programs. At the high school level, authorized schools may offer the Diploma Program (DP) or the Career-related study Programme. The DP consists of six IB academic courses plus the core component CAS (creativity, activity, service), Theory of Knowledge course (TOK) and an extended essay. It typically takes up most of a student’s schedule in 11th and 12th grade. The CP requires students to study a minimum of IB two academic courses, a career-related study, Personal and Professional Skills (PPS) and the Core Components (Service Learning, Language Development and Reflective Project). It allows students to take other courses outside of the IB curriculum in their 11th and 12th grade year.
Is this a program for gifted students?
The IB Program is not a gifted program, though gifted students may be very successful in it. The program is designed for the academically motivated student.
Can students participate in the AVID and/or Music Programs at PW while also in the CP?
Yes. Even though the CP Programme is comprehensive, there is still room in the schedule for students to participate in the AVID program or music programs at PWHS.
What will be the requirements for admission?
All students who are interested in the programme will submit an application. The application process is designed to guide sophomores’ thinking about their potential participation, share their reason for wanting to be admitted into the programme and collect recommendation information. The CP Team will review the application and may consider transcript, discipline referrals and attendance as well as the application items in making the decision of acceptance.
Who can apply?
Any resident of the Colonial School District can apply during their sophomore year.
Can an IBCP student play sports or participate in extracurricular activities?
CP students must complete the CORE components through the PPS course (Service Learning, Language Development and the Reflective Project), which in many cases, can include aspects of the activities they do in extracurricular activities. In addition, time for each Core Component has been allocated during school, which will minimize outside of school time commitment.
Will IBCP students and teachers be isolated from the rest of the school community?
CP students will have several non IB courses in their schedule, and as a result, students will not be isolated from the rest of the school community. IB students will be part of a cohort of students, guided by teachers who exist within the school, not separate from it.
How will students be assessed? How do you calculate GPA with IB Weight?
Similar to students who take AP courses, IB students will receive two types of grades. Each student will receive grades that count toward a Plymouth Whitemarsh High School diploma and are the result of the teacher’s normal assessments throughout the course of the year. The teacher may choose to include the IB internal assessments that occur as well since he or she will be assessing them. This is the grade that will appear on report cards and transcripts and will be used in the calculation of the GPA. Any course earning IB weight will earn additional 1.5 quality points. For example, an A in an academic class would be a 4.0, but the same grade in an IB weighted course would calculate to 5.5. In addition, each student will receive a grade for each assessment, on a scale of 1 to 7. These grades, in conjunction with the Core Components, will determine whether the CP Certificate is awarded. Because IB assessment scores and the final status of the certificate are not available until the summer after the student graduates, admission to colleges in the United States will be based primarily on grades reported on the student’s transcript and successful participation in the CP Certificate Programme to date.
How do colleges grant advanced credit for IB courses?
There is no easy answer to this question because each college that grants IB credit does so according to its own criteria. Students who have narrowed down their list of potential colleges are highly encouraged to inquire about their credit granting policies by contacting the admissions offices of the schools. The greatest benefits of the IB Programme lie in the skills it fosters, skills that will be utilized throughout the college experience and well beyond.
What accommodations are provided by the IB for students with special needs?
The IB permits accommodations for students who have special learning needs, but its guidelines are very specific and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School must adhere to them strictly. IB teachers will provide appropriate support in the instruction and assessments that lead to the grade awarded toward a Plymouth Whitemarsh High School diploma, but final approval for accommodations made during IB assessments rests wholly with the IB.