College Counseling

College Counseling

The High School program of studies allows students to meet the requirements for obtaining a standard American High School diploma following the Carnegie system of credits used in the United States. Students enrolling after grade nine will be required to select courses appropriate for their grade and to complete any other required courses not already taken. ISO offers a standard US Diploma, and all courses (outside of foreign language) are conducted in English. The newly introduced IB Program courses in grades 11 and 12 provides students with the skills needed for success in tertiary institutions.

In High School, students are provided with advice on preparing themselves to select their post-secondary school options. Students begin the process in Grades 9 and 10, with reflection and evaluation of potential career and university options that might suit their interest. In Grades 11 and 12, students are prepared during the Core class by receiving visits from various colleges and universities, alumni, by taking part in Career workshops with visiting speakers and by engaging in ongoing dialogue about their futures with the College Counselor. Students work on the online platforms BridgeU and Concourse to create their profile for university/college entry. Additionally, in grades 11 and 12, students have the opportunity to take IB courses. These two-year courses aim to cultivate the skills in the IB Learner Profile. These attributes align specifically to the IB mission and philosophy. This program culminates in the opportunity for students to obtain the IB Diploma, after successful completion of the IB exam process. IB classes count for credit in regard to ISO graduation requirements. All students are encouraged to find their “best fit” university from around the world.

Grade Placement

Placement of students transferring into grades 7-12 will be based on successful completion of academic subjects as shown on records of previous schools. High school students are placed generally according to high school credits successfully completed. For students admitted into grade 6, admission and grade placement are based on achievement in reading and writing in English, mathematics, social and emotional maturity, successful completion of academic requirements at previous schools, and teacher observation. The starting point for placement is made using age-peer cohorts based on October 1st birthday guidelines.

In High School, transcripts are examined on an individual basis, but generally the following guidelines are used:

Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12
Freshman Sophmore Junior Senior
< 6 credits 6-12 credits
(including one in English and one in Math)
13-20 credits
(including two in English and two in Math)
20 + credits
(including three in English and three in Math)

Credit audits are completed in 1:1 meetings with all students in grades 9-12 on an annual basis to ensure all students are on track. If further information is required, students are encouraged to schedule a meeting with the College Counselor.

ISO Graduation Requirements

A minimum of twenty-six (26.25) credits is required for a standard ISO diploma:

  • English 4.0 credits
  • Mathematics 4.0 credits
  • Social Studies 3.0 credits
  • Science 4.0 credits
  • Foreign Language 2.0 credits
  • Physical Education 2.0 credits
  • Health .25 credits
  • Core 2.0 credits
  • Fine Arts 1.0 credit
  • Electives 4.0 credits

All students are required to maintain a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average. The Principal will evaluate transfer students who have entered ISO from other schools on a case by case basis. Any courses taken outside of school do not replace or modify ISO’s course load requirements.

Online courses that are approved by ISO and award a semester grade and credit will be accepted toward meeting ISO graduation requirements. The core classes required in the high school are, in part, based upon the majority of university entrance requirements. ISO does not allow mid-year graduation. ISO does not provide class rank for University Admissions purposes.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A student’s Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated for each school year enrolled at ISO and as a cumulative GPA for all of High School. These GPA calculations are printed on a student’s transcript that is sent to universities as part of their application. Courses completed prior to enrollment at ISO will not be included in the GPA, such as transfer credits from another school. All courses receiving an A-F letter grade will be incorporated in the GPA calculation using the guidelines below.

ISO GPA Points (Letter Grades and %)
97-100 A+ (4.3) 77-79 C+ (2.3)
93-96 A (4.0) 73-76 C (2.0)
90-92 A- (3.7) 70-72 C- (1.7)
87-89 B+ (3.3) 67-69 D (1.3)
83-88 B (3.0) 63-66 D (1.0)
80-82 B- (2.7) 60-62 D- (0.7)
IB Courses, 2022 +
IB Grade Descriptor GPA
7 Excellent 4.33
6 Very Good 4.00
5 Good 3.67
4 Satisfactory 3.00
3 Mediocre 2.67
2 Poor 2.00
1 Very Poor 1.00

Students completing an IBDP HL course will be given an additional weight to their grade in the course of 0.5 when calculating a GPA (e.g. B+ is equal to 3.3 unweighted, or 3.8 weighted). The adding of points in a GPA calculation for the rigors of an IBDP HL course is called a weighted GPA.


At the High School level, a student must have a satisfactory record of attendance in order to receive credit for each course. The guideline for satisfactory attendance is a minimum attendance of 85% per course. Students who fail to meet the minimum attendance requirement for any course may lose credit and receive a “WF” (withdraw fail) grade for the semester, regardless of the grade average. Each of these cases will be reviewed on an individual basis with the final decision made by the Director.

Students who have completed four years of High School attendance without obtaining the required number of credits or meeting course requirements may be permitted to participate in the graduation ceremony and may be issued a “Certificate of Attendance” upon the recommendation of the Director.

About the College Counselor

My name is Kate Soubeiga and I have been a proud member of the ISO community since 2018. I look forward to taking on the responsibility of College Counseling for the 2022-2023 school year. I was born and raised in the United States.

I am excited to begin the challenge of College Counseling at the International School of Ouagadougou, and am looking forward to taking on this extended role. As Counselor, it is my pleasure to assist families in making decisions for their future. All students are capable of reaching their fullest potential at ISO. I am both pleased and proud to be on this adventure with our students. I am very excited to see where their journey takes them.

Kate Soubeiga

Kate Soubeiga