Different Pathways: IB, IBCP, AP and Honors All Prove to be Successful Routes for Students


Students consider several academic excellence programs for college recognition at RHS. However, many new students suffer confusion and disbelief regarding the various benefits and challenges each curriculum has to offer.
The International Baccalaureate (IB), IB Career-Related Program (IBCP), Advanced Placement (AP) program and honors track are RHSa�� most notable academic programs. Each requires varying degrees of dedication and effort in order to succeed.
AP is a central feature of the advanced curricula at RHS, as students often take AP classes in order to receive college credits and college-level instruction before graduation. Unlike IB, AP students can choose specific courses to enroll in and do not need to meet additional requirements , making it an option for more students.
“Our goal is for every student to have been in at least one AP class by the time they’re a senior,” Principal Billie-Jean Bensen said.
If students do not or cannot take AP courses, RHS administrators instead aim for them to enroll in Honors courses, which are encouraged every year.
“We want as many kids as possible in IB, AP or Honors classes,” Bensen said. “I don’t get a sense that one program is considered a better program than others for a whole bunch of reasons.”
The AP program is also common at Rockville, with a large percentage of students enrolling in various courses in order to pursue academic excellence. Senior Greg Cohen, who is currently taking AP courses, said, “It’s definitely different from honors. There’s a lot more work, it’s a faster pace. It’s like a different lesson every day.”
The IB program and its associated career-related program (IBCP) also strive for academic excellence in core academic areas with an emphasis on writing as well a college workload schedule. “Work has never been a problem for me, just time constraints,” IB Senior Lyna Bentahar said.
“[IB] gets students ready for work, which is stressed in the IB program,” IB coordinator Laurie Ainsworth said. IB is famous for its extensive workload and international prestige, as it is taught across the globe to students from various walks of life and backgrounds. The program features a focus on oral and written communication skills, with essays and written assignments commonly appearing in classes.
Students have the highest degree of freedom in Honors, where students are able to select from a level of courses and unique classes without being bound by required course curriculums. These students have the ability to choose from a variety of courses, while also receiving challenging coursework that allows them to flourish. When asked if he felt sufficiently challenged, sophomore Adam Iravani said, “Yeah, for the most part,” praising the program for its coursework.
Students in honors can take any course as long as they achieve their graduation requirements. However, some may find the lack of increased college recognition undesirable. Even so, determined students will still find exceptional challenges and opportunities to prove themselves as part of the honor curriculum.
Overall, these courses are excellent options for students interested in advancing their academics and college readiness. Any students interested can contact their counselor or administrator for further information on how to enroll in these strong and challenging curricula.