• IB Diploma Programme Coordinator

    Mr. Joseph Ehman

    Phone: (412) 622-5980
    E-Mail - jehman1@pghboe.net

    It is my honor and pleasure to serve as the first International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme Coordinator at the Barack Obama Academy of International Studies.  The IB Diploma Programme is the most rigorous course of study available for high school students, and we are proud to offer it here in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. 

    The Obama Academy is an IB World school, which means that all students enrolled at Obama are IB students.  We have the luxury at Obama of having both the IB Middle Years Programme (6-10), and the IB Diploma Programme (11-12).  In grades 6-10, Obama students are familiarized with the IB learning philosophy through lesson design, language, and the Service, Action, Creativity, and Knowledge (SACK) Booklet.  Each year students are in the MYP, they gain skills necessary to be successful in the Diploma Programme.  The purpose of the MYP is to prepare students for the rigors of Diploma Programme Work. 

    The Diploma Programme is broken down into six subject groups:

                    Group 1: Language A (English)

                    Group 2: Second Language (Japanese, German, Spanish, French)

    Group 3: Individuals and societies (History of the Americas, History of Europe, 20th Century History)

                    Group 4: Experimental Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology)

                    Group 5: Mathematics and Computer Sciences (Mathematics, Math Studies)

                    Group 6: The Arts (Visual Arts, Music, Theatre, Psychology, Film)

    On top of the six subject areas, all students must also focus on the three elements found in the Diploma Programme core: Theory of Knowledge, Creativity Action Service, and The Extended Essay.  The Theory of Knowledge course is a Philosophy course for High School students that span the junior and senior years.  Every Obama Academy IB Diploma Student must complete a minimum of 150 Creativity Action and Service Hours over the course of a two year period.  The Extended Essay is a 4,000 word research project that students begin in the junior year.  The Extended Essay gives students the chance to research a topic of their choosing and conduct a college level research project. 

    This level of work is designed to prepare students for the IB Diploma Assessments, but even more importantly the level of work encountered in the IB Diploma Programme prepares students for the work they will face beyond high school.  IB Diploma Students must learn to manage their time, to seek help with papers and projects, complete a large amount of work in limited time, think independently and deeply, and produce at a high level.   

    My job is to assist your student in their IB journey, keep track of CAS hours, guide their Extended Essay, and advise them through the IB Assessment process.  I am always happy to assist students and parents with any question they may have. 

    Best Wishes,

    Joseph Ehman