Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified Students Earn Prestigious Diploma Along With College Credit

An impressive 49 students in Valencia High School’s Class of 2014 completed the program and earned the rigorous I.B. diploma. The success rate of the Class of 2014 pushes Valencia’s I.B. diploma completion rate up to 91 percent.

“The pass rate is important because it indicates that our students are prepared to achieve success by passing one of the world’s most rigorous high school programs,” said Valencia High School Principal Rick Lopez. “Students exit the program as well-rounded, confident, creative individuals who are critical thinkers that are ready for success at the university level and beyond.”

Receiving an I.B. diploma is a prestigious distinction. Based in Geneva Switzerland with North American headquarters in New York City, the program is a world-renowned rigorous course of study in 148 countries that is recognized by the world’s leading colleges and universities. For example, the University of California system grants college credit for either individual courses or in some cases as much as 30 quarter (or 20 semester) units toward a degree. When combined with advanced placement courses, I.B. diploma recipients can have enough credits to enter the U.C. system as university sophomores.

Schools must apply to implement the I.B. program. At the high school level, I.B. is a two-year course of study during the junior and senior years. Freshmen and sophomore students complete pre-I.B. or honors courses in language arts, social science, science and mathematics. These two years prepare students for intense I.B. academic work in the junior and senior years of high school. The intensity is comparable to rigor at the university level, including requirements such as completing a 4,000-word essay, a Theory of Knowledge course, and six internationally-graded exams. Additionally, students must participate in creativity, action and service community activities. Students must pass each component in order to receive the I.B. diploma.
Valencia High School is in its ninth year of the I.B. program. This fall, Valencia High’s Class of 2014 I.B. diploma recipients will attend universities such as Harvard, Yale and Penn. The school anticipates a continued upward trend since next year’s Class of 2015 currently has 54 candidates in the program. The following year’s Class of 2016 has 100 I.B. diploma candidates.

To enroll or learn more about Valencia High School’s I.B. Program, visit the school’s website at

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