International baccalaureate: a study in college readiness
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Lack of college readiness in high school graduates entering college is a problem. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) is a challenging pre-university curriculum, created by a group of teachers from Geneva in 1968 for students who wanted to study in European universities. The primary purpose of the study was to examine the high school correlates of first semester college freshman Grade Point Average (GPA) and credit hours completed in a non-probability sample of the IBDP graduates. The second purpose was to document the perspectives of a group of the IBDP graduates regarding the effectiveness of the program in preparing them for college. The study employed an explanatory sequential mixed methods design. Descriptive statistics, correlation coefficients, coefficients of determination, and mean difference effect sizes were used to analyze the quantitative data. Inductive analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. A total of 31 college freshman students, IBDP graduates of the study site, voluntarily participated in the quantitative component of the study and 12, from this group, participated in the qualitative study. The majority of the participants were female (61%), White (84%), and not economically disadvantaged (87%). The quantitative results showed that the study’s IBDP graduates had achieved high GPA and completed a large number of credit hours during the first semester of college. High school GPA, junior year English and physics scores predicted college GPA. High school GPA and junior year physics scores predicted the credit hours taken. The qualitative results indicated the challenging nature of the IBDP curriculum had prepared IBDP graduates for the first semester of college with writing skills, problem-solving skills, management of time and stress in college. The results of the study may be used to predict college readiness in IBDP students. The findings could provide the community with positive feedback on the IBDP and encourage more students to enroll in this challenging program. The study could be used to ensure that the best academic programs are available for students’ postsecondary success and IBDP programs can use the results to improve gray areas of implementation. The study can be replicated using a diverse population.
A dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR of PHILOSOPHY in CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.