Why International Baccalaureate?

The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
In 1994 Trinity became the first women’s high school in Illinois to be accepted into the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization. 

Modeled after the best educational systems in Europe, the IB program was originally designed in 1968 to meet the educational needs 
of children of diplomats.  Today, the IB program is offered to any student who wishes to challenge herself academically by pursuing an intensive course of study in six subject areas that leads to the reward of the IB diploma which may provide admission to top colleges and universities around the world.  Beyond intellectual rigor, the curriculum fosters responsibility, self-discipline, divergent thinking, internationalism and compassion.  It consistently attracts highly motivated and talented students who wish to excel as well-rounded individuals within a global society. Lauded by both educators and students alike, the IB is increasingly being recognized as the best college-preparatory curriculum an American school can offer.

A Higher Degree of Learning

Unlike other honors curricula, the IB program challenges qualified juniors and seniors who have been recommended by their teachers to take part in a global community of academic excellence with emphasis on critical thinking, creativity and service.  This philosophy fits right into Trinity’s mission of educating the mind and nurturing the spirit of young women.  Due to their diligent work in high school, most IB graduates begin college with an advantage of forgoing up to two semesters of completed credit hours.  This academic bonus saves the student and her parents both time and money.  

Based on a strong liberal arts tradition, the full diploma program centers on six subject areas, three of which are studied on the higher level (a minimum of 240 classroom hours) and three others on the standard level (a minimum of 150 classroom hours) throughout the student’s junior and senior years.  In addition, the Diploma Program offers three unique requirements that complement the general program of study.  These include the writing of a four-thousand word independent research essay, completion of the Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) component, and completion of the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course aimed at integrating knowledge across the disciplines.

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  • History of IB at Trinity

    For the past twenty-five years, Trinity students who have sought an academic challenge found it in the IB Program, a perfect complement to a Sinsinawa Dominican education. Along with our mission of educating the whole person, the IB curriculum integrates learning across the subject areas and encourages students to engage in the lifelong adventure of intellectual discovery, community service, and personal growth. Since the inception of the program in 1994, over 1,400 Trinity students have selected either the full diploma curriculum or certificate courses. Either way, they have experienced a rich approach incorporating several types of assessments including oral and written forms along with long-term projects, essays, labs, explorations, portfolios, and final exams. With thousands of schools around the world now offering the IB course of study,
    the word is out that this educational model is well suited for highly motivated students in a complex, global society. While college credits may be earned for successfully completing IB coursework, the benefits of studying on this intensive level include readiness for college and the work force through well-developed habits of mind. Independent and collaborative activities foster critical thinking, problem solving, and interpersonal skills that best prepare students for life in the ever-evolving 21 st century. It has been my honor working with our students for the past seventeen years as their program coordinator and IB English and TOK instructor. Within the last fifteen years, based on students’ interests, we have added new IB courses, including Dance, Film Studies, Mandarin, Math HL, Psychology, and Sports, Exercise, Health Science. It has been truly rewarding collaborating with colleagues and witnessing our students flourish from their experiences in IB courses that have developed their critical thinking and creative abilities. I am always thrilled to welcome back our IB alumnae at our annual winter gathering to celebrate their success and to hear about their ongoing achievements. Thanks to the foundation laid by two visionary administrators, Sr. Michelle Germanson, President, and Sr. Jeanne Bessette, Principal, and to the efforts of Mrs. Mary Sichz and Mrs. Gina Maras, my predecessors, Trinity has enjoyed a successful history with the IB. To date, our pass rate for the IB diploma remains a steady 90% with over 70% of our study body enrolled in IB courses as either diploma or certificate students. In offering this dynamic program, we are proud to partner with IBO as we continue the tradition of academic excellence in the spirit of our Sinsinawa founders. Here’s to the next twenty-five years!
  • About IB: Trinity's Global Link

    In 1994, Trinity began offering the acclaimed International Baccalaureate program to academically talented and motivated students. We are the first women’s high school in Illinois to receive the academic distinction of being accepted into the distinguished International Baccalaureate Organization.
    Read More
  • IB Learner Profile

    The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

    As more and more students respond to the challenges of an IB education, colleges and universities are taking notice of what has been called the best academic program in the world. But exactly what kind of individual emerges from the intensive two-year experience?
    Read More
  • IB Features

    A two-year interdisciplinary course, TOK is intended to stimulate critical reflection upon knowledge and experience. Students discuss knowledge, truth and belief as they relate to each of the academic areas. Issues are raised, discussed, and debated from many different perspectives.
    Read More
  • How is the IB Program different than Advanced Placement (AP)?

    The IB experience is not just a way to learn, it’s a way of life and, for more than 1,250,000 students each year, the way to a better, more peaceful world.
    Read More
  • 2023/24 IB Curriculum Guide

  • Articles on IB

Trinity's Unique IB Program

"When I reflect on the past four years I spent at Trinity High School, no words can begin to express the amount of gratitude I feel for attending a wonderful institution. The journey I began freshman year has been long and difficult, but it is very rewarding. Trinity’s rigorous IB curriculum has not only tested my academic abilities, but it has also challenged me mentally and physically. I faced many hardships due to the amount of workload I needed to complete, but those challenges have only provided me with vital skills I can use in the next chapter of my life. I am more than thankful to my teachers for always inspiring me to be more resilient and ambitious. Without them, I would not be the successful student I am today, and I certainly would not have discovered my passion for leadership, teamwork, and volunteering."
Kimberly Verseles, Case Western Reserve University
Bridgeport Catholic Academy

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  • Photo of Rose Crnkovich

    Rose Crnkovich 

    English Teacher, IB Coordinator

IB Exams

Exams are held in the SMG Athletic Facility.

Please be aware that starting and ending times are approximate. Students will be allowed into the examination room 15 minutes before the start of each exam. Students will be dismissed about twenty minutes after the posted ending time.