More Leander ISD students earned AP Capstone and IB diplomas in 2021, with the latter reaching its highest percentage of IB graduates candidates yet.

Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone Diploma

An impressive 100 students have earned the AP Capstone Diploma and 30 have earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate during the 2020–21 school year. The AP Capstone Diploma program helps students to develop critical thinking, research, collaboration, and presentation skills that are critical to academic success. 

To receive the AP Capstone Diploma, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on four additional AP Exams. To receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research. Unlike traditional AP subject exams with a single end-of-year assessment, AP Seminar and AP Research assessments are project-based and evaluate skills mastery through group projects, presentations, and individual essays completed throughout the year.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program

An outstanding 94 percent of Leander ISD’s Class of 2021 International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Candidates received their IB Diplomas, an increase of 4 percent from the year before.

In order to earn the IB Diploma, students must take six IB courses (at least three of them over two years), score a total of at least 24 points on cumulative exams, complete a 4,000-word extended essay, pass a theory of knowledge class and demonstrate a two-year commitment to creativity, activity and service.

Leander ISD students in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme took 544 exams in 2021 and 96% of the exams taken met the criterion.  This means they received a passing score of 4 or higher on a scale of 1-7.

Leander ISD continues to seek opportunities to expand its IB programs. The district currently has Primary Years Programmes (PYPs) at Mason Elementary School and Grandview Hills Elementary School, as well as the Diploma Programme (DP) at Leander HS, an IB World School since 1999, and Vandegrift High School, an IB World School since 2018.

For students who meet these rigorous criteria, there are many perks associated with earning the IB Diploma. Benefits include a higher admission rate at top colleges, a higher probability of graduation from college in four years and actual college credit. For example, the state of Texas awards at least 24 college credit hours for the IB Diploma, according to Texas Education Code [TEC] §51.968, 2005.