Over the next few weeks the graduates of the Class of 2015 will fly to universities around the world, embarking on a new stage of their lives. We have no doubt that they will enrich the many communities they’re joining, including UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, Carnegie Mellon University, Claremont McKenna, Cornell University, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, the University of Southern California, Tufts University and St. George’s University. While it’s a bittersweet farewell, we also watch them move on with a great deal of pride and hope. This year’s graduating class continued our community’s tradition of academic excellence, but they also proved their success in a way others have not: through the Global Citizen Diploma.
The traditional measure that schools around the world await, the results of the IB Diploma exam, demonstrated high consistency with NIST’s past results. Our students have continually outperformed the five-year global average of 29.74 (out of 45) by a significant margin, and this class was no exception. Beyond earning an average score of 34, 97% of the NIST test-takers received their diplomas compared to the 5-year global average of 78.6%. Equally impressive, five students earned scores of 42 or higher, 24% of the class earned 38 or higher and a full 59% earned 34 or higher. Globally, only 9% and 25% fell within those same ranges.
Yet their most impressive accomplishment was not a number at all. The Class of 2015 was the first with the opportunity to earn the Global Citizen Diploma (GCD) alongside the IB Diploma. With a small number of other elite schools in Japan, Switzerland and India, NIST launched the GCD as optional qualification that requires students to pursue and reflect on activities in areas such as global perspectives, community engagement, digital citizenship and leadership. Upon review and approval by a reading committee, they earn recognition for their accomplishments above and beyond traditional measures of academics.
Our graduates have not merely earned a number on a piece of paper. They have launched and funded development projects in rural areas of Southeast Asia. They have worked alongside professionals in music, business and other professions. They have traveled the world, from Argentina to China, launching businesses and exploring diverse cultures. Their work through the GCD has allowed them to tell their stories to universities in a way that shows the impact they have had both inside and outside the classroom. As they leave NIST, four members of the Class of 2015 have received the GCD certificate, seven the full diploma and two the full diploma with distinction.
Congratulations to our departing graduates once again, and we look forward to seeing the ways in which you will enrich and empower others to make a positive difference in the world.