The IB Career-related Programme
What is the CP?
The IB Career-Related Program (CP) is an innovative education framework for students ages 16-19 incorporating the vision and education principles of the IB into a unique program specifically tailored for students who wish to engage in career-related learning. The aim of the CP is to provide students whose passion is focused on a career-related pathway with both a more rigorous academic format and a practical foundation to support both their further studies and specialized training, thereby ensuring their success as they move into various colleges and later into the workforce.
The programme aims to develop students interests in a specific career path, and help students flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically. The CP curriculum is made up of two required IB Diploma course subjects that students study as one component of the program. The second part of the CP is the CP "Core", which is comprised the Personal & Professional Skills (PPS) course, a career-related Service Learning experience, and the Reflective Project. Through the CP Core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge as it relates to their intended field of study, complete independent research on an ethical dilemma in their pathway and undertake projects that often involves community service.
What the CP offers students
Through the CP, schools are able to develop students who:
- have excellent knowledge and expertise in a specific career pathway
- flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
- study at least two languages
- excel in some traditional academic subjects
- explore the "soft skills" the business world is putting high value on through the Personal & Professional Skills course.
Why offer the CP?
International research shows that there are many benefits to choosing the CP over other 16-19 year old curricula. For example:
- CP students are better able than their peers to cope with demanding workloads, manage their time and meet the expectations placed on them
- Analysis of DP students in Canada, the UK and the USA found that the DP’s extended essay improves students’ approach to learning in higher education.
- Offers students a more rigorous scheduling opportunity for those with a passion for a particular career pathway
The curriculum for the International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IB CP) is prescribed. Students must meet the IB CP requirements to receive the IB Career Certificate at the end of their two years of study. The IB curriculum is divided into six groups or categories, of which, for IB CP, the students must study two subjects of their choice: the first should be a course that covers two-years of time (IB Biology, IB History, IB English, IB Lang B, etc.), the second can be any other IB course they choose. The IB courses offered at SFHS are:
The Academic Coursework
IB Categories IB Courses Offered at SFHS in each group Group 1 Student’s Best Language English Literature HL* OR English Language & Literature SL Group 2 Modern Language Spanish B (HL or SL), French B (HL or SL), German B (HL or SL), and Latin B (HL or SL) Group 3 Individuals and Societies History HL* or SL, Psychology SL, Business Management SL, Environmental Systems & Societies SL Group 4 Experimental Sciences Biology HL*, Physics HL*, Chemistry SL, Computer Science SL, Design Technology SL, and Environmental Systems & Societies SL Group 5 Mathematics Mathematics HL or SL, Mathematical Studies SL Group 6 Arts & Electives Visual Arts HL or SL, Music (Band) SL, Psychology SL, Design Technology SL, Chemistry SL, Business SL, Computer Science SL, Environmental Systems & Society SL
For students’ junior and senior years, students may choose to study as many as courses as they desire, schedule permitting. But the minimum is those two required courses. Students can make their selection of courses based on their academic strengths and interests. The standard level courses and higher level courses are both rigorous, college level courses in nature, scope and coverage. The higher level courses expand upon the curriculum offered at the standard level and often requires one or more additional internal and/or external assessments. In addition to the two IB course requirement, IB CP students must complete the IB CP "Core" of (A) the Reflective Project, (B) Language Development, and (C) Service Learning, and (D) the Personal & Professional Skills course (see below). The last requirement is that IB CP students:
(A) complete a state-certified Career Related Pathway and pass the exit exam, and
(B) must be "in that pathway" both junior and senior years
For the latter requirement, students that finish the state pathway in junior year must either take another relevant course in pathway (example: IB Business for Marketing Path, Engineering R&D for Engineering path, etc.), or participate in an Internship, or participate in the Honors Mentorship program in their pathway.
Elements of the IB Career Programme
To help students prepare for the expectations of college and become aware of the positive influence they can have on their own community, the International Baccalaureate Career Programme also requires three core elements.
A culminating research paper on an ethical dilemma within their chosen pathway designed to teach students how to independently research topics, discuss such a dilemma, and then make their own argument regarding its resolution. This is much like those they will be exposed to at the college/university level
Personal & Professional Skills (Course)
An interdisciplinary course that explores concepts of ethics and personal development of the "soft skills" so essential in future careers and enables students to reflect critically on the question of “Why do we do this?” They learn about how looking at the way we communicate with each other, how it impacts them in their future employment, and how decision making requires logical connections of differing areas of knowledge and skills to do so.
Service Learning (outside the school day)
Through creative activities, sports, volunteerism, etc., students build confidence in themselves while improving their communities (IBO expects students to make community contributions for an average of 2 hours each week over a students’ junior and senior years). Where possible this should be connected in some way to the students career pathway.