New bill could give college credit for IB

The+Committee+of+Higher+Education+in+session+on+Jan.+24.+IB+coordinators+Chris+Mcqueen+and+Amy+Monaghan+agreed+that+bill+2252+would+be+a+big+change+from+the+current+policy.+As+of+now%2C+most+colleges+only+accept+college+credit+for+higher+level+%28HL%29+courses.+

Photo courtesy of Eileen Swarthout, Washington Legislative Assistant

The Committee of Higher Education in session on Jan. 24. IB coordinators Chris Mcqueen and Amy Monaghan agreed that bill 2252 would be a big change from the current policy. As of now, most colleges only accept college credit for higher level (HL) courses.

Shannon Hong, Reporter

On Jan. 8, bill 2252 was referred to the Committee of Higher Education, which would require all public universities in Washington state to award credit to students for International Baccalaureate (IB) examination scores of 4 or more in both standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) courses.

“We want IB exams to be treated the same way as Advanced Placement [AP] exams,” IB coordinator Amy Monaghan said.

This bill would distinguish between SL and HL, which would be meaningful for both diploma and non-diploma students, IB coordinator Chris McQueen said that for the first time, students testing in IB would be able to receive college credit for SL from all colleges in Washington.

Not only that, but it would also allow the program to be more widely recognized by having more students test in those courses.

“When you test in the course, you take it a bit more seriously because you get the experience of having a big final and you do the internal assessment [IA],” McQueen said. “So it creates a better academic environment and a stronger program.”

With the additional knowledge that more students of color and lower socioeconomic groups are enrolled in IB, McQueen said that this bill would present the poorer and more underrepresented populations with the same opportunities to succeed that more advantaged students have.

“We know districts who are doing IB that have populations that are disadvantaged given the current legislation, and this [new bill] would put [everyone] on an equal playing field,” McQueen said.

The bill will take effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed. However, like all bills, it’s not guaranteed that this one will be passed.

“If it doesn’t end up happening, we will continue to educate the legislature on why IB credits should be recocognized,” Monaghan said.

The final legislative session will end in March. Students can find more information about this bill on the Washington State Legislature website.