Trinity Brown/The Lion's Roar
Since 2016, Southeastern remains the only undergraduate institution to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Educator Certificate in Teaching and Learning in the Gulf South.
The program is one of only 50 offered in the U.S.
Education students who obtain the certificate, along with their normal diploma upon graduation, are going to be equipped to teach internationally at any university of their choice, unlike an ordinary student in the college of education.
This program allows those graduates to apply specifically to teach at IB schools in the U.S; which are grade schools that have a very meticulous curriculum.
Students are asked to go in depth with every subject and learn how to apply every lesson to the real world. However, it is held to the standards of schools internationally as well, so the curriculum may supersede the U.S. standards, preparing them to flourish in other countries.
Paula Calderon, Ph. D., the Dean of Education, said the certification is beneficial to students whether they plan to teach at an IB school or not, and that it is separate from a teaching degree.
“This is in addition to Louisiana teaching certification. It allows students to teach anywhere in the world. If one of our graduates chooses not to teach in an IB school, they will be outstanding in a regular classroom. You can get the certificate and undergrad degree at the same time or with your graduate degree, or even come back and just get the certificate,” Calderon said.
The only difference between the two is the worldwide standard that IB is held at in comparison to teaching standards in the U.S.
University President John Crain started advocating for the program in 2015 and hired Cherissa Vitter, Ph. D., IB coordinator for the university’s Department of Teaching and Learning.
“The curriculum is world-wide, and teachers must attend IB sanctioned training to teach IB courses at an IB World School. This training is standardized across the globe,” Vitter said.
There are five program tracks, and each has a distinct application process, but in order to apply, students must ask Vitter for an application. Once she screens and sends it to IB, the organization determines whether students are accepted into the program.
However, there are students who have not heard of or been informed on the IBEC.
Charvone Holmes, a senior majoring in early childhood education, said this was her first time hearing about the program.
“Being in the education program, I can honestly say this is my first-time hearing of the IB certification and that Southeastern offers it. The department doesn’t do a great job of informing us of all the opportunities that are there for us,” she said.
Vitter recommends that all who are interested email her directly if she has not already given her pitch for the IBEC in students’ introductory classes.
For any education majors who would like more information about the IBEC, email Dr. Cherissa Vitter at [email protected]