Since 2003 Westerville South High School has offered the IB Diploma Program for Juniors and Seniors wishing to engage in a rigorous college preparatory course of study that focuses on problem solving, complex communication, and international-mindedness. IB courses are designed to prepare students for further study at the university level by encouraging higher-order thinking through collaborative projects, discussions, and advanced reading and writing activities.
The Westerville South IB Program offers courses as prescribed by the IB Course of Studies. Full diploma students take three courses at the Higher Level (HL, two-year courses) and three courses at the Standard Level (SL, generally one-year courses). Students are thus able to explore some subjects in depth and others more broadly. The science-oriented student is challenged to learn a global language and the natural linguist becomes familiar with laboratory procedures. Any Westerville South student may take IB courses without enrolling in the full program.
In addition to the coursework students must complete a course in Theory of Knowledge (a philosophy course), participate in over 150 hours of Creativity, Action, and Service activities, and write an Extended Essay of 4,000 words. Active citizenship and global perspectives are encouraged in each area of the curriculum.
The curriculum contains six subject groups together with a core made up of three separate parts. Students study six subjects selected from the subject groups. Normally three subjects are studied at higher level (courses representing 240 teaching hours), and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level (courses representing 150 teaching hours).All three parts of the core - extended essay, theory of knowledge and creativity, action, service - are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme.
IB Courses at Westerville South
- Biology, Higher/Standard Level
- Business, Higher/Standard Level
- Chemistry, Standard Level
- English, Higher Level
- French, Standard Level
- History, Higher Level
- Math, Higher/Standard Level
- Music Theory, Standard Level
- Psychology, Standard Level
- Physics, Higher Level
- Spanish, Higher/Standard Level
- Visual Art, Higher/Standard Level
Three Core Requirements
In addition to their regularly scheduled courses, IB diploma students gain valuable experience in research, higher thought, and community engagement by participating in the program core:
The extended essay has a prescribed limit of 4,000 words. It offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest, and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university.
Theory of knowledge (TOK)
The interdisciplinary TOK course is designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines, encouraging an appreciation of other cultural perspectives.
Creativity, action, service (CAS)
Participation in the school’s CAS programme encourages students to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports and community service work, thus fostering students’ awareness and appreciation of life outside the academic arena.