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Diploma Programme at Cooper High School

The Diploma Programme (DP) is a challenging two-year curriculum for students who are between 17 and 19, or, 11th and 12th grade.

Students learn not only the necessary information to be accomplished in any subject area, but they also learn how to deal with new information and situations in those areas. The IB programme teaches them to:  

  • ask challenging questions
  • learn how to learn
  • develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture
  • develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures.

The DP curriculum contains six subject groups together with a core made up of three separate parts.

All three parts of the core—Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) — are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme.  Students may choose to access only those courses which interest them by earning IB Certificates rather than the full Diploma.

Significant features of the IB Diploma Programme are:

  • World-Wide Standards, based on the best practices of educators around the world and passed on to teachers in IB training sessions around the country and the world.
  • External Assessment -- all work done at Cooper High School is sent around the United States and the rest of the world to be evaluated in comparison with work by American and international students studying the same subject.  This lets a school know how its students are doing world-wide.
  • An emphasis on understanding other points of view and being able to defend one's own.
  • Outstanding preparation for college/university, positive recognition by admissions boards world-wide, and earned credit based on scores earned in IB classroom work and on IB 

The three core requirements, explained more fully in the "Diploma Candidates Requirements" menu are: 
   1. Extended EssayThe extended essay has a prescribed limit of 4,000 words. It offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest, and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university.
   2. Theory of Knowledge (ToK): The interdisciplinary ToK course is designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines, encouraging an appreciation of other cultural perspectives.
   3. Creativity, Action, Service (CAS): The CAS program encourages students to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports and community service work, thus fostering their awareness and appreciation of life outside the academic arena.

What are our senior diploma candidates saying?  Check this out ...

Senior IB Diploma Candidates share why they did the Diploma route!

• “I wanted colleges to see just how good I am!”

• “I’m stubborn.  I wanted to say, ‘Yeah, I did it.’”

• “I like being a brainiac.  I am so much more knowledgeable.”

• “CAS was fun.  It got me into some really fun stuff.”

• “I had no good reason not to.  I’d already done so much IB and I knew I liked it.”

• “Both my sisters did it.  I couldn’t let them think I wasn’t as smart!”

• “Teachers are so enthusiastic about what they teach – they’re helpful and they make it fun.”

• “I like seeing how far we have come.  I saw my grades on English papers go from D to A, and I liked knowing that I was learning.”

Senior IB Diploma Candidates share what they did to be successful

• “Time management, time management, time management….”

• “I depend heavily on my planner.”

• “I’ve learned how to use the resources around me.”

• “Don’t freak out.  Just take one step at a time and don’t get paralyzed.”

• “Be perseverant…”