The IB impact on success

“I used to wonder if all those late nights studying would pay off.”

First-year student Micheal Green (’15) is not talking about his first semester at Wake Forest. He is referring to his experience as a student in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program at Parkland High School in Winston-Salem.

The IB program is a rigorous course of study that presents a liberal arts curriculum from a global perspective, university-level work, and required examinations that are developed and marked on an international standard.

While some classmates complain about a five- or 10-page paper, Green, a Joseph G. Gordon scholarship recipient, says the writing-intensive IB curriculum prepared him for the three lengthy essays and weekly in-class writing assignments required in his English 111 class.

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Jay Mathews will speak in Wait Chapel on Wednesday, March 7, at 7 p.m. Hosted by Wake Forest and The International Baccalaureate Schools of North Carolina, the event is free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, March 7, Green will join hundreds in Wait Chapel to hear longtime Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews discuss IB as what he believes is right in American education today.

In addition to writing for the Post for more than 40 years, Mathews is the author of multiple books including Supertest: How the International Baccalaureate Can Strengthen Our Schools, Escalante: The Best Teacher in America, and Work Hard Be Nice. His deep understanding of IB objectives and results has made him a proponent of the challenging curriculum’s impact on students and their respective communities.

Wake Forest has long encouraged prospective students to pursue the most challenging curriculum offered to them, whether it’s IB, Advanced Placement (AP), or another advanced course of study.

“Pursuing the most rigorous curriculum signals academic motivation and intellectual curiosity. Excelling in that curriculum suggests that the student is well prepared for academically strenuous college classes and is likely to be a successful member of the campus community,” Dean of Admissions Martha Allman recently wrote in a guest column for the Washington Post. She added, “We look forward to a discussion of how our educational system must prepare and push students to meet world-class standards.”

As for Green – who, in addition to excelling in his coursework, is active in Gospel Choir and the Black Student Alliance on campus – there’s no longer a question of pay-off.

“My IB English teacher, Mr. Marshall Marvelli, recognized my writing skills and really pushed me,” said Green. “He gave us challenging, lengthy assignments, which helped me develop a more mature writing style that has served me very well at Wake Forest so far.”

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