Hannah Wilson and Liam Wolfe, Staff Writers – Lecanto High School [LHS] offers two prestigious and equally rewarding academic programs that many students choose to partake in: the International Baccalaureate [IB] program and Dual Enrollment [DE]. Both programs help students build necessary skills, such as a stronger work ethic and more diligent time-management. However, the programs are distinctly different.
DE allows students to take classes not only at the high school, but also at the College of Central Florida [CF]. Most students attend the Lecanto campus, but some drive to the main campus in Ocala.
IB is an internationally recognized program that prepares student participants for the challenges of college. The learning process takes place entirely on the LHS campus, however, the IB curriculum is very different from the regular or even the honors level.
While both programs offer significant benefits, some students feel that DE offers certain opportunities that IB does not.
“The benefits to Dual Enrollment include being able to leave school, getting college credits for free, and getting a head start on what college feels like,” said senior Kallie Weidner, who has completed almost two years in DE. “It has been an amazing experience for me and I should have my Associates of Arts [AA] before I even graduate [from] high school, which will definitely prepare me for college.”
“A notable perk of Dual Enrollment is that students are placed in an environment better suited for many learning styles and allows both personal and mental growth,” senior Dana O’Shall commented.
On the other hand, IB aims to provide rigorous courses that challenge students, aide them with organizational skills, and build their academic foundations.
Junior, Peyton Burdette feels as though IB has given her an experience that she could not have found anywhere else.
“IB has definitely opened up tremendous opportunities when it comes to college and scholarships,” Burdette said. “It also has made me better at managing my time.
IB also creates an environment that emphasizes camaraderie and builds strong bonds between the students who are involved.
“You gain a support system when you join IB. Yes, it’s a lot of hard word and dedication, but you’re not in it alone. You have a big family there to guide you through,” junior Kelley Sullivan said.
A drawback that many IB students find is that many of the IB exams seem extremely difficult. IB coordinator, Darrick Buettner, hope that students recognize that they are not as life-threateningly challenging as students might assume.
” Many don’t realize that IB exams are more user friendly to students. It is easier to pass an IB exam than an AP exam,” said Buettner.
Although both programs are uniquely demanding, they also offer benefits that students may not be able to find in general education classes.