Here at MUWCI, work had begun on a proposed “UWC diploma.” This diploma would distinguish the UWCs from other IB international schools, and aims to better emphasized UWC ideals through a curriculum. The hope is that this diploma would eventually replace IB, although at the present time it is still in very preliminary stages.
The UWC diploma would differ from the IB diploma in that it would feature a project significantly larger than the extended essay, which would most likely involve several weeks spent researching off campus. In addition, students would reduce from six core classes to four, and take small supplementary classes to aid them with their project and make up for classes lost in reducing from six to four. The four classes would most likely, but not necessarily, be chosen from the IB curriculum: if national courses were deemed appropriate there would be the possibility of using them towards the diploma as opposed to IB certificates. At the present time, the working curriculum is divided up into three areas: academic challenge, social responsibility and personal growth.
Much of the debate within the UWC diploma working group has come around the area of assessment. The possibility of assessing “personal growth,” has raised several problems. At the present time, the diploma would be assessed in several ways: within each area a student would receive a letter grade, and they would also receive a cumulative number grade specifically for their academic work. Importantly, students’ diploma would also feature comments from mentors that had worked closely with the student throughout the process.
Although the UWC diploma is still in its preliminary stages, it is something that is likely to become more important to the UWC movement in the near future. MUWCI hopes to introduce a pilot program to test the diploma within the next year, and the diploma will also be presented to the UWC board at the MUWCI 10th Year Anniversary Celebration. It is a major step to take, because the UWC and IB have been wedded for so long, and would certainly signify a new path for the movement.
– United World College Student Magazine –