The Personal Project Struggle
With MVC’s switch from traditional AP to International Baccalaureate, students now have the opportunity to earn the distinguished IB diploma. Students that graduate with the IB diploma are more likely to be accepted into Ivy League universities by a staggering 18%. However, in order to earn the diploma, students must not only take the required amount of Diploma Program courses, but they must also complete the Extended Essay and the Personal Project. The personal project allows students to choose whatever topic they are personally interested in, learn about it, and create a product, which will be presented at an exhibition at the end of the year. With Junior year being the most important year academically for college applications, the personal project is assigned to sophomores at the beginning of the school year. As time for completing the product portion of the project winds down, rumors have spread about many sophomores opting out because they are not trying to get the IB diploma, but how many people are opting out or completing the project? In a survey of 25 sophomores, only one person was not doing it because they “didn’t have time.” As for the students completing the project, 6 people claimed they were completing the project because they can put the project on college applications, while 9 others said that they were doing the project for their own benefit. The other 8 wanted to complete the project because they want to receive the IB diploma. However, when asked if they were ahead or behind schedule completing the project, 5 students said that they had not even started the project while 12 said that they were behind schedule. Only 6 people claimed that they were on time while 2 people said that they were ahead. Most of the students are behind not only because the amount of writing required is daunting, but because they are struggling to balance work, homework, sports, friends, and more while still having a life. Hopefully the sophomores will rally and catch up on work over winter break before the February’s deadline.
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