International Baccalaureate Program Coordinator

There are many teachers and faculty members in a school system across the world helping students succeed in the academic world. One of those teachers helping students is Kathryn Donovan, International Baccalaureate (IB) Program Coordinator.

Donovan has been in the Mercyhurst Preparatory School system for 30 years. Before she became the full time IB program coordinator, she was a French teacher for 26 years and working at minimal capacity in the IB program. Four years ago, Donovan drop down to part time for teaching so she could move to full time Coordinator of the International Baccalaureate Program.

The IB program was established in Europe in 1965 to help develop an equitable education for all students across the world. During that time it was discovered that students from country to country were experiencing educational gaps throughout their schooling.

Donovan is here to close that gap among the Mercyhurst Preparatory students by being a part of the IB program for 15 years. The program is not designed for just English Language Learners, but for all students who are juniors and seniors in the school system.

“Any student who is an honor student in any subject can decide to be in an IB class or classes,” said Donovan.

When the students are in the program they have two options: a student can be certificate student and be in a class or classes in which they are interested or the student can be in six IB classes and decide to be an IB diploma candidate. The international Baccalaureate Diploma Program is an assessed program for students aged 16 to 19.

As coordinator her responsibility to educate students and parents about the International Baccalaureate program and register students for the program.

“I am there for them throughout the process and available to help all IB teachers with whatever they need,” said Donovan.

Donovan is the communicator with the IB office around the world, especially for the main offices in Switzerland and Wales.

These students go through testing to make sure they are applying their skills they have learned while going through the program. Donovan oversees the testing process to make sure all the communications and assessment materials are mailed around the world to be graded.

“There are numerous reports that I must submit and there are many documents that must update such as assessment policies, integrity polices and many other policies,” Donovan said “I also oversee a self-evaluation process that is required every five years.”

Donovan keeps the process of those policies in line in order to keep the International Baccalaureate program at Mercyhurst Preparatory school. The program is develop to help students to become better in school, but at the same establish a good foundation for more education in the future like college.

As the coordinator of the IB program, she has a vision on what the program would like in five years.

“My vision for the IB and MPS is that eventually all MPS students would be enrolled in at least one IB class or that more universities would become better informed about the IB program,” said Donovan.


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