Education

New career-focused IB program not suited for PHS

Career IB combines academic rigor with a career track to address global skills gap

A new International Baccalaureate program designed to meet the changing needs of students by offering workforce training won’t be available to students in Pensacola High School’s IB program.

The Career-related Program, officially launched this week as a standalone program to assist students in developing skills they need for careers, is better suited for career academies rather than IB students, said Laura Nelms, coordinator for PHS IB program.

“Our program is designed for students planning to go directly to colleges and universities,” Nelms said. “The Career-related Program is not applicable for us, but it may be good for students in schools with academies looking to begin a career.”

The IB program’s mission is to prepare students for the academic rigors of study at colleges and universities, Nelms said.

Last year, every senior in Pensacola High’s IB program enrolled in college, she said.

The Career-related Program, or CP, is a tailored program of education that combines rigorous academics with a school-based, career study.

The aim of the CP is to provide students with both an academic and practical foundation to support both their further studies and specialized training, enhancing their preparation for and success in the workforce. Its goal is to combine academic rigor with a career track to address and meet the needs of the global skills gap.

The CP equips students in their last two years of high school for further education and/or the working world, similar to the career academies that are in every Escambia high school, especially so at West Florida High School.

The CP, had, until this week, been implemented in IB World Schools, offering the Diploma Program across 14 countries.

It originated from an IB project that started in 2004 in Finland, which led IB to develop and pilot the program with IB World Schools authorized to deliver the Diploma Program. After a review involving schools around the world, the IB’s fourth program was launched in 2012 under it original name IB Career-related Certificate.

As of Monday, the program was renamed IB Career-related Program, in line with the other IB program, and it is available across the globe.

CP students can engage in programs of study that interests them, while gaining lifelong skills in applied knowledge, critical thinking, communication and cross-cultural engagement, officials said in a report.

While the CP also prepares students to succeed at institutions of higher learning, Nelms said the school district’s academies already do a good job of offering workforce education combined with rigorous academic courses.

“It would be possibly needed in this school, but regarding the IB program 100 percent go to college,” Nelms said. “We offer the IB diploma program, preparing students to enter college.”