Rachelle Bernadel is the IB’s University Relations Administrator at the IB Global Centre in Bethesda, MD, USA. She is also an IB graduate of Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Maryland.
As I interact with school counselors and coordinators, it always seems that this is the time of year when many choose to host IB Information Sessions for parents. I think back to my years as an IB student and how important it was for my parents to have a good understanding of the program I decided to undertake. I wanted them to know why I would have daily mood swings or why I would start arguments debating “what is knowledge,” and if it is really a fact that I should do the dishes? But on a more serious note, I am a strong advocate of teaching parents about the IB program because it is just as important as making sure your students grasp the content. Parents want to be reassured that this program will be worth the time and expense that is being spent by the school and their own family. As school counselors (in partnership with your coordinator), you have the responsibility of alleviating their concerns and I am sure at times it can be quite daunting. If your school was recently authorized to offer the IB programme, or even if they are a seasoned IB World School, the pitch to help parents understand the IB and what it has to offer can often be a tough sell.
However, it does get easier! Here at the IB we have a plethora of resources that you should always keep readily available to present to your parents. Below are a few commonly asked questions about the IB that you should expect to encounter, followed by information giving them the reassurance they need.
Will the IB be accepted by universities?
In most cases yes, but the extent to what subjects and scores are accepted varies institution by institution. Always stress to parents and students that they should do individual research on their target schools to learn about their policy.
Can my student get a scholarship for being an IB student?
Yes! We have compiled a webpage dedicated entirely to this. It can be found here. It is not inclusive so always be sure to check with the university. They may have recently created a wonderful policy and not updated it with us.
Will my student be college-ready?
According to research, IB students are ready for success at the college level. We have published numerous studies on this issue. They can be found here.
What are universities actually saying about the IB?
Only good things we promise. But listen for yourself here.
These questions are only a preliminary look of what issues parents may be bringing to you. Stay tuned to our posts because later next year we will be hosting a parent webinar focused solely on addressing their concerns. Do any of the parents you work with have questions that leave you stumped? Leave them in the comments section below!