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Expanding Opportunities for IB Students: Becoming Vocal in Spaces That Matter

Marie Vivas is the IB Americas Senior Development Manager. She has overall responsibility for university recognition in the Americas region, working closely with admissions professionals counseling university bound students.

In our little corner of the IB world we are always looking for opportunities to increase student access to higher education and to prepare them for success in university and beyond. As economic policy evolves and affects education funding in your state, we are here to support you in supporting your students. There are legislative measures happening locally or at the state level to help schools achieve significant milestones for their students. Many of these center around increasing graduation rates and college and career readiness.

A great example of this is this compilation of IB resources that our colleague, Bob Poole, has put together to support schools in working with Oregon’s High School Success – Measure 98

Bob is the leader of our government relations efforts in the US and Canada and a passionate advocate for our students. When it comes to finding ways to support our work he is at the top of my contact list. I asked him to share with us some of the resources he has put together for our colleagues in Oregon as they create proposals to access funding for IB Programmes in their state.

“There is significant research that demonstrates the success of the International Baccalaureate’s Diploma, Career-related, and Middle Years Programmes as a means of meeting the specific goals for M 98 –  an expansion of college level opportunities, of career and technical education opportunities, access, post secondary success, higher graduation rates and engagement for all students, can be achieved through the introduction or expansion of International Baccalaureate programmes.”

A growing body of research supports implementing or expanding your IB offerings to address these goals.

  • In 2015 a study of IB Diploma Programmes in Title I Schools in the US found that low income DP students from Title I schools enroll in college at very high rates (79%). This rate is substantially higher than the national average for low-income students (46%)

  • A ground-breaking study of IB students in Chicago Public Schools suggests that DP students in CPS attend four-year colleges, attend more selective colleges and persist in college at higher rates than similar students in honors programmes and selective enrollment high schools.


  • A 2014 study of students at the University of Oregon’s Honors College found that DP students were better prepared for college on both academic and non-academic factors.



  • A recent study found that previous enrollment in the Middle Years Programme increases students’ likelihood of participation in college preparatory coursework and achievement of college-ready scores on AP/DP exams.

Participation in IB programmes is a game changer when it comes to higher education access and college readiness. If you are interested in implementing or expanding IB in your school or district, please contact us at

Thanks to Bob for collecting all these excellent resources! I would also like to point out that universities in the state of Oregon strongly value the IB curriculum and have reached a consensus on minimal scores and transferable credits for IB courses. In particular, the University of Oregon and Oregon State University have published policies that are very welcoming to IB students.

To my colleagues in the trenches, you are the best advocates for students. As influencers in your schools and your communities, I hope you take this opportunity to share this blog with your leadership and to expand access for all of your students. If you know of any initiatives like Oregon’s Measure 98 and would like our support in getting the word out about IB please contact us at #IB4ALL

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