Students looking to pursue a rigorous academic path at CCHS will have some new options next year. In addition to the established Advanced Placement (AP) program, students will be able to take a new set of challenging classes.
The Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Program is defined by Cambridge as an international curriculum that focuses on broad and balanced study. The eight classes that will be available next year were chosen to complement AP classes already offered at CCHS.
“We are excited for our students to have an opportunity to work with a large international community across the globe through learning the same AICE Cambridge curriculum,” 12th Grade Assistant Principal Vera Perkovic said. “Our students will have additional options in having a well‐rounded and rigorous education.”
Like AP classes, AICE courses would add two quality points to a student’s weighted GPA and the college credits are accepted by Florida and select out-of-state universities.
In order to earn a Cambridge AICE diploma, students must successfully complete and pass the exams for seven AICE courses. The one AICE class required from all Cambridge students is Global Perspectives, which is considered to be the core of the entire program.
Other than the rigor of the courses, a potential scholarship serves as an additional incentive for obtaining a Cambridge AICE diploma.
“Our students will have additional options in having a well‐rounded and rigorous education.”
If a student earns the AICE diploma as well as documents 100 service hours, they will receive the Florida Academic Scholars tuition scholarship, regardless of the student’s grade point average or standardized test scores.
This is an incentive that many who are interested in AICE classes are drawn to. Most stressed and overwhelmed students would welcome not having to worry about getting a high enough SAT score.
“The AICE program is like a backup plan [for college money] because getting the diploma guarantees Bright Future Scholarships. This way it takes off some of the stress when applying for the scholarships,” sophomore Mya Waldron said. “Getting Bright Futures can relieve me of possible student debt in the future, which relieves my stress right now.”
Students who have previously taken AP courses may find slight variations in the exams for AICE courses, but they follow a similar format. For example, both exams tend to have a series of multiple choice questions followed by essay prompts.
One outlier is the exam for AICE General Paper, a course that will be offered at CCHS next year, which provides a list of prompts for the student to choose from. Then, the student must comprise a full essay with sources based on the one-sentence prompt.
“We will continue to offer additional Cambridge courses in the years to come as we continue to build the program.”
Further consideration may be needed for students interested in participating in the AICE Cambridge program as there is a different procedure in place for those requiring accommodations.
“Students will need to request approval for testing accommodations from Cambridge in a similar manner for which they do from College Board and ACT,” Assessment Specialist Melissa Megna said.
Additionally, due to the fact that AICE Cambridge is an international program, no makeup exams are provided for students who may have a conflicting AP exam.
Although the AICE classes may be formatted and taught slightly differently than other advanced academic courses at CCHS, they certainly have an appeal that may attract students. Not to mention, the list of AICE courses provided at CCHS may be expanded in the future.
“A survey is planning to be sent out during next year to students taking AICE Cambridge to see what classes they would like to have offered here at Cooper,” Perkovic said. “[This way] we will continue to offer additional Cambridge courses in the years to come as we continue to build the program.”
Photo by Cassie Hartmann