IB and AP courses provide students advanced learning and time management skills

Shane Gleeson, Staff Writer

Course registration for 2022-2023 has begun, and students at DePaul College Prep have the option to register for advanced level classes. All grade levels are eligible to sign up for AP classes, while Sophomores have the option to take on a rigorous academic opportunity in the IB Diploma Programme. Courses designated as AP, which stands for Advanced Placement, are classes that give students the option to take a college level course to hopefully receive college credit. The IB Program, also known as the International Baccalaureate program, is a college level two-year program that students at DePaul Prep are eligible to enroll in. Students in IB can enroll in the IB Diploma Programme or take individual two-year courses.

Ms. Heidi Bojorges is the International Baccalaureate Program Director for DePaul College Prep. Ms. Bojorges specifically manages the whole program, coordinates the extended essay, and teaches IB Literature. The question that is on many students’ minds is, what is the IB program?

“It is a rigorous, college prep curriculum that is also international. It operates in 156 countries” Bojorges said. 

Additionally, since the program is “international”, this means that it is recognized by universities and schools worldwide. The rigor of the course includes many elements.

“It prioritizes critical thinking, application of the knowledge and skills students gain… a lot of project based learning,” Bojorges stated. 

The IB Programme requires deeper thinking. It is more than just “having them do a worksheet,” as Ms. Bojorges would say. Students are challenged to think critically about topics and gain a deeper understanding of the subjects they are learning about.

Only Sophomores are eligible to enroll in IB level courses. They are also two-year courses, meaning students have to apply as a Sophomore to get into an IB class.

Some of the classes students can enroll in include IB Literature; IB History of the Americas; IB Biology, IB Sports, Exercise, and Health Science; IB Chemistry (elective); IB Spanish; IB French; IB Chinese; Math A&I; Math A&A; IB Film; and IB Visual Arts.

To enroll in these classes, Sophomores must complete the IB application form on depaulprep.org no later than January 26, 2022. 

Junior Kobe Nguyen is currently enrolled into the IB Literature course. The IB Literature course is a very work heavy but rewarding class.

“I find it pretty great, it’s a different form of learning, but I find it very rewarding,” Nguyen stated.

With the heavy workload, Nguyen advised future IB students, “Try to work on your time management. If you do so, you will find it way easier than before. You will succeed more.”

Mr. Stanley Niemiec is the Assistant Principal of DePaul College Prep, and also the AP Coordinator.

 Incoming sophomores through seniors are eligible to enroll in AP courses. For those who are still wondering what an AP course is, “The AP Program offers college level courses in our high school in a variety of subjects.  These courses follow the College Board curriculum and end in a culminating standardized test,” Niemiec stated. 

DePaul College Prep currently offers AP Calculus, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Psychology, AP English Literature and Composition, AP English Language and Composition, AP Human Geography, AP US History, AP European History, and AP Spanish Language.

Sophomore James Kolpak is currently enrolled into the AP European History course taught by Mr. Rabideau. It is a very challenging but interesting and engaging course for Sophomore AP students, Kolpak says. 

“In the class we have debates, and put our own thoughts out in the class to share and develop ideas,” Kolpak said. 

It should be noted that like many AP classes,  AP European History is a work heavy and rigorous course. Many students are intimidated by the heavy amounts of homework and class work, but those who take on the work say it is worth it.

“If you know you can handle the work that comes with the class, AP Euro is for you.” Kolpak said.

The course covers many topics over the course of the school year, including absolutism in European society and the effects it had, the Age of Exploration, and the Renaissance Era.

“I like the class for its topic and challenge, and how it helps me grow as a student,” Kolpak stated.

Although AP classes may be strenuous for sophomores, many seniors look back on their classes positively. Current Senior Tommy Pettinger is taking multiple AP classes in his final year at DePaul Prep.

Pettinger is currently enrolled in classes such as AP Literature, AP Spanish, AP Calculus, and AP Biology. 

“I enjoy these classes for the content and the lessons which are usually interesting, but I dislike the heavy workload”.

For Senior Bryan Ngo, his AP experience was very similar to Pettinger’s.

“It was definitely worth it. I feel that I got time management skills out of the AP program. With the courses being rigorous, it helped me prepare for the college application process and made it much easier.”


Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the IB application is January 22, 2021. The correct deadline date is January 26, 2021.