OLYMPIA – High school students would gain more ways to earn college credit before they arrive at a higher education institution in Washington under a bill unanimously passed today by the Senate.

Senate Bill 5917, sponsored by Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, would require higher education institutions to establish a policy for granting college credit to students who receive passing grades on International Baccalaureate or Cambridge International exams, and to post that policy on their websites.

The bill builds on legislation that Gov. Jay Inslee signed last year requiring colleges and universities to establish a similar policy for students who pass Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

“Like the AP program, these programs are a great way for high school students to obtain college credits and accelerated placement,” Mullet said. “But even someone with a PhD in math would be hard-pressed to figure out what credits are accepted or how many, because rules vary from school to school and even program to program.

“Passing an IB or Cambridge International course in Biology, for example, should mean you don’t have to retake Biology in college. This bill helps create an easy-to-understand system, saving students and their families time and money in pursuing a degree.”

The bill would require higher education institutions to establish “a coordinated, evidence-based policy for granting as many undergraduate college credits as possible and practical” to students who score a minimum score of 4 on a standard-level IB exam or a minimum score of E on a Cambridge International exam.

IB exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 the highest possible mark. Cambridge International exams are scored on a scale of A to E, with A representing the highest mark and E the minimum required passing score.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.