Southeastern remains the only university in the Gulf South authorized to offer courses leading to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Educator Certificate in Teaching and Learning, according to the latest directory released by the International Baccalaureate Organization.

Southeastern is one of only 50 IB authorized certification institutions in the United States. The certification, which is granted by the IBO, prepares teachers to use advanced academic techniques in the growing number of IB schools. IB programs offer students in elementary through high school a comprehensive, demanding curriculum of advanced studies for highly motivated students.

“It’s such an honor to know that Southeastern is in this elite number of universities offering the International Baccalaureate Educator Certificate,” said Paula Summers Calderon, dean of the College of Education. “As the only accredited university in the Gulf South approved to offer the IBEC, Southeastern has earned a stellar reputation.”

Calderon said Cherissa Vitter, IB coordinator for the university’s Department of Teaching and Learning, has worked hard to recruit both pre-service and in-service teachers to seek certification in international education.

“Her students hail from all over the world and range from undergraduate students to students who already hold doctorates,” she said. “In the IBEC program, teachers learn best practices for all content areas and grade levels regardless of whether the teachers teach in an IB school.”

“IB Programs are inquiry based and teach students how to learn,” Vitter explained. “The curriculum is world-wide and teachers must attend IB sanctioned training to teach IB courses at an IB World School. This training is standardized across the globe.”

There are currently 21 IB programs in Louisiana encompassing ages 3-19. All IB programs are represented, which include: Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program, Diploma Program, and the Career-related program.

The IB program started in 1968 as a diploma program in the United Kingdom, France and the United States as educators looked to develop an academically challenging program to prepare students for success at the university level and beyond. IB programs are now offered worldwide at schools that meet the rigorous IB standards.

Southeastern is a recognized university to offer courses leading to the IB Educator Certificate in Teaching and Learning: Primary Years Program and Diploma Program. The program at Southeastern has verified the course completion for candidates in over nine countries, including the United States.

“It is quite incredible to reflect upon the fact that teachers in China and India are able to teach at IB World Schools because of their courses from Southeastern,” Vitter said.

In addition to gaining knowledge of the IB programs, holding an IB educator certificate means the candidates have exceeded IB professional development requirements for program authorization and evaluation purposes.

The entire program is two semesters online. After two semesters, candidates will receive a Certificate of Course Completion from Southeastern and the IB Educator Certificate in Teaching and Learning from the International Baccalaureate Organization. Candidates may also pursue a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, International Baccalaureate Education with additional courses.

For more information on the certification program, contact Vitter via email at cherissa.vitter@southeastern.edu or call 985-549-5248.

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