Apples and Oranges: Comparing the Backgrounds and Academic Trajectories of International Baccalaureate (IB) Students to a Matched Comparison Group

Henry May, Awilda Rodriguez, Philip Sirinides, et al.
August 1, 2013

Despite a lack of scientifically based research, credit-based transition programs such as International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), and dual enrollment have become very popular as a means to increase the rigor of high school course offerings and improve the curricular alignment between high school and college. The purpose of this research is to examine the relationships between participation in the IB Diploma Program and a range of college-related outcomes that occur on the path into and through higher education. By combining data across the International Baccalaureate North American (IBNA) database, the Florida K-20 Education Data Warehouse (EDW), and the National Student Clearinghouse, we can study college enrollment and graduation for a national sample, while using more detailed data from the state of Florida to produce a comprehensive picture of the relationship between participation in IB and students’ postsecondary trajectories as reflected by indicators of academic readiness for college (e.g., high school GPA, SAT scores), access to college (e.g., application and acceptance rates), academic performance in college (e.g., GPA, course grades), persistence to bachelor’s degree attainment (e.g., time to graduation), and access to post-baccalaureate degree programs (e.g., application and acceptance rates). Because not every school offers an IB program, and students who eventually choose to participate in IB programs are a self-selected group, our analytic models include several statistical and econometric approaches for addressing selection bias.

Keywords: Education, AP classes, IB program, gifted students

Henry May, Awilda Rodriguez, Philip Sirinides, Phil Sirinides, Laura Perna, Laura W. Perna, April Yee, Tafaya Ransom