By Marianela Estripeaut
Assistant Principal Cypress Bay High School
In an effort to always offer our student population the best possible education and to stay current with the admission requirements from post-secondary institutions, Cypress Bay High School successfully embarked this past school year in becoming an official Cambridge School.
So, what is the Cambridge program, you may ask? Cambridge is a not-for-profit educational program overseen by the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England which was adopted as a special program in the State of Florida in 2003.
Through Cambridge, students have the opportunity to take AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) courses, earn two (2) quality points on their local GPA, and receive college credit if exams are passed in a similar fashion to the AP College Board program. In addition to this, students may earn a special Cambridge International diploma if they accumulate at least six points by passing AICE courses in three areas detailed below within a three-year period (25 months from the first exam to the last exam). In the state of Florida, if a student earns a Cambridge diploma and completes 100 service hours, they qualify for the highest level of Bright Futures without having to meet the SAT or ACT requirements. This is an important benefit for those students who might not score sufficiently well on portions of the SAT or ACT but who have a rigorous transcript and a good GPA.
Cambridge offers two types of courses, A level or AS level courses. Advanced (A) Level Syllabi and exams cover approximately two years of college-level curriculum in a subject. The Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level syllabus and exam covers the first year of the two-year A Level curriculum. An AS Level exam counts for one credit and the A Level exam counts for two credits towards the AICE Diploma.
Students simply receive high school credits when they pass the course. The additional weight on the local GPA is similar to AP – that is, it is only earned with a C or above. Universities award credit on a subject–by–subject basis according to grades earned when the individual examinations are passed. Due to the fact that the Cambridge program is an international program, AICE exams can occur past the school year since their testing calendar is until mid-June. It is important to note that similar to AP, students must take the final examination to be eligible for the two quality points on their GPA. The testing schedule comes out at the beginning of the school year in order to facilitate in the coordination of multiple exams for select students since students may have a combination of AP and AICE exams.
The University of Cambridge International Examinations publishes a list on its website of US universities that have provided written statements of their AICE (which includes AS and A Levels) recognition policy. (Go to www.cie.org.uk/qualifications/recognition and click on the middle right for the Cambridge recognition brochure or click on recognition details). All public universities and community colleges in Florida award up to 45 hours of college credit for AICE and/or AP exams passed.
Below is a summary table of some of the main Cambridge courses that currently exist:
The underlined courses in italic are being offered in 2013-14. The ones with an asterisk are available to 9th graders.
Group 1: Math & Sciences
|Group 2: Languages||Group 3: Arts & Humanities|
Cambridge is a prestigious international, rigorous, academic program which provides a wide variety of course offerings in elective areas and academic areas in addition to those offered by the AP program. Looking ahead at the future, we are excited and proud to be able to offer our students new additional options in their areas of interest in order for them to accrue benefits to their GPA, earn college credits, and have a well-rounded and rigorous education.