Thirteen diocesan schools in Majorca are to offer dual baccalaureates as from the start of the next school year - the Spanish and the American.
At present, some 600 schools in Spain offer the American Baccalaureate, which is a curriculum designed specifically for overseas schools. An agreement with the American Academica Corporation means that the curriculum will be offered in the Balearics for the first time.
The two baccalaureates are studied simultaneously, the American version being "virtual", i.e. not in classrooms but online, and amounting to 25% of the total credits. The ideas behind the combined curriculum are that it perfects oral and written English; enhances digital skills through a virtual environment; and develops personal autonomy and maturity.
There are four diocesan school directors. They learned a few months ago that there was a possibility of adopting the American curriculum. It seemed particularly interesting in seeking the best for students and their parents. Advantages of the dual system include it opening up application to any American university. The American curriculum is also beneficial in that it is more skills and project-based than the Spanish curriculum, which is more academic.
Obligatory modules are English (two levels), American history, and administration and economics. Optional modules include criminology, engineering and technology, and psychology. Students will have tutors in the US and coordinators in Majorca. The directors say that experience with the dual system elsewhere in Spain shows that there has been almost total success. The workload is around three to four hours a week, a small price compared to what it would cost to go to the US in order to take the American curriculum.
Diocesan schools in Majorca, which come under the Bishopric, at present have some 8,200 pupils.