Academic year 2020-2021: ISL's response to COVID-19.

The High School Diploma at ISL

ISL offers a fully recognised US High School Diploma in addition to the International Baccalaureate Diploma, as ISL is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

The IB Diploma and the ISL High School Diploma are two separate qualifications, but the courses studied during Years 10 to 13 simultaneously contribute towards both. The IB Diploma is a more demanding programme, and students who successfully complete it are also awarded the ISL High School Diploma. However, several students each year choose to focus their efforts on achieving the ISL High School Diploma only, rather than both qualifications simultaneously. Achieving greater success with a reduced range of courses that meets the requirements of the ISL High School Diploma is the correct choice for a number of our students, including those with significant commitments to extra-curricular activities.

Examinations and degrees

The High School Diploma involves taking individual courses that lead to the same final IB examinations, and results in a portfolio of official IB course results that are recognized by universities in combination with the ISL High School Diploma.

The ISL High School Diploma is sufficient for entry into 4-year universities in both the US and Canada, as well as US-style universities located in different parts of the world. For students interested in studying in the UK, then the High School Diploma provides a route to foundation degree programmes, which can then lead to a bachelor’s degree.

Advantages of an ISL High School Diploma over the IB Diploma

  • No requirement to take theory of knowledge;
  • No requirement to complete the extended essay;
  • Students can take five subjects rather than six;
  • No requirement to take subjects at higher level;
  • No requirement to meet the exacting standards of the IB Diploma (24 points in total across the subjects, no less than 12 points total in higher level subjects, etc);
  • Additional study periods provide extra time to devote to challenging subjects;
  • As indicated above, a range of university and college options remain open with the ISL High School Diploma, and the academic counselling team is well able to advise on these options.  They can also provide examples of a number of alumni who have successfully benefited from taking the ISL High School Diploma.

Testimonial Alumna Manon – Class of 2011

Discover Manon’s High School Diploma experience at ISL.

“Studying for the High School Diploma enabled me to pursue my goal of going to university. The High School Diploma meant that I was able to drop classes that I wasn’t interested in, or doing particularly well in, and concentrate my time on the subjects that would help me achieve getting into university. Having dyslexia this really benefited my learning style and meant that I achieved the grades necessary to go to university in the UK. I believe that if I had studied the full IB programme, my grades would have suffered, and I would not have been able to pursue my university choices. After studying at ISL, I was able to go on and study my bachelor and master’s degrees in the UK, which led me to jobs in the UK across different sectors including education and fashion. Most recently I have returned to Switzerland after 10 years and am currently pursuing my own project in sustainable fashion.”

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