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University System to Award College Credit for International Baccalaureate Courses

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Atlanta — February 13, 2008

Georgia high school graduates now have a new path to earn college credits when they enroll in any University System of Georgia (USG) college or university, thanks to action today by System’s governing Board of Regents.

The regents approved a new academic policy that will give college credits to a student who scores well on end-of-course assessments for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. The credits allow USG freshmen to receive course credit for selected, basic college courses, and take more advanced level courses. High assessment scores on IB courses are a strong indicator of academic performance that is beyond that expected of typical high-school students, USG officials said.

“We have provided this option for a number of years to students who have taken Advanced Placement courses in high school,” said USG Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Susan Herbst. “The board’s action is a response to the growing numbers of high school students who are taking advantage of the increased availability of IB courses in Georgia’s high schools.”

The IB program originated in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland, and it is currently offered in 2,122 schools in 125 countries. There are three levels of the program – primary years, middle years, and the diploma program for 16-19 year-olds. The new USG policy applies to those who complete the IB diploma program, which is currently being offered in 22 Georgia high schools.

A participant who wishes to apply for USG college credit for his/her completion of the IB diploma program will have to provide verification of scores on the end of course assessments. The assessment scores, along with evidence that the IB course work is comparable to specific discipline-based college courses, will be reviewed by college officials who will determine if credits in the appropriate college courses should be granted, up to a maximum of 24 credits.

The courses for which a student will receive college credit will vary among the USG’s colleges and universities, depending upon each institution’s course offerings. USG institutions will post the institutional policy – which must conform to the broad System policy approved today by the board – on each institution’s website for review by prospective students.

USG officials indicate the new course credit policy for the IB diploma program will be effective beginning in the fall 2008 semester.

The University System of Georgia is 35 degree-granting colleges and universities, serving more than 270,000 students and more than one million Georgians through continuing education with an annual budget of $5.6 billion to support a triple mission of teaching, research and service.

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