The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in Mexico as preparation for higher education (2013)

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Anna Rosefsky Saavedra—RAND Corporation

This project examines the relationship between Mexican students’ enrollment in the Diploma Programme (DP) and their college preparedness at four Mexican case study schools. This mixed-methods case study uses interviews, focus groups, and analysis of school data to describe: 1) Mexican IB DP students, 2) the relationship between Mexican DP students’ performance and postsecondary admissions, and 3) specific aspects of the DP that prepare Mexican IB students for postsecondary education. Across the four schools, academically stronger students choose to enroll in the DP. This decision seems to stem from students’ lack of satisfaction with other options and from their desire to take on a new challenge. Administrative data show that DP students enroll in the top ranking university-major combinations in Mexico. Researchers found significant correlations between performance in the DP (total score) and earning a university scholarship. Sample IB students, teachers and administrators believe that the DP prepares students for the challenge of college course work. However, they do not think that enrollment or performance in the DP gives IB students an admissions advantage to Mexican universities.

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