Principal, Gordon Palmer has announced that Alexander Central High School is one of approximately 1,800 schools worldwide to implement the AP Capstone™ Diploma program. The program is an innovative opportunity that allows students to develop the skills that matter most for college success, such as research, collaboration and communication. The program consists of two courses taken in sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research.
Students who score a 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research as well as on four additional AP exams of their choosing earn the AP Capstone Diploma™. This signifies outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. Students who score a 3 or higher in both AP Seminar and AP Research (but not on four additional AP Exams) earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™. “This innovative program develops the skills professors desire in top universities and is
proven to develop success after high school. Our students will be more prepared and standout from other candidates in the most competitive collegiate fields. The program gives our teachers more leeway with curriculum choices, so their students can access more challenging coursework and sharpen skills within the student’s area of interest,” stated Mr. Palmer.
In AP Seminar students choose and evaluate complex topics through multiple lenses; identify credibility and bias in sources; and develop arguments in support of a recommendation. AP Seminar is a project-based learning course. Official AP Seminar assessments include research reports, written arguments, and presentations completed during the academic year. In the subsequent AP Research course, students design, execute, present and defend a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of individual interest. They build on skills developed in AP Seminar by learning how to understand research methodology; employ ethical research practices; and collect, analyze, and synthesize information to contribute to academic research. Like AP Seminar, AP Research is a project-based course. Each student’s official AP Research score is based on their academic paper, presentation and oral defense.
“I am so pleased students will have an opportunity to earn the most distinguished diploma in the nation, but more importantly, they will be more prepared to compete and succeed in college and future employment opportunities,” commented Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Hefner. “We’re proud to offer AP Capstone, which enables students and teachers to focus on topics of their choice in great depth,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president for AP and instruction at the College Board. He adds, “This provides terrific opportunities for students to develop the ability to write and present their work effectively,individually and in groups—the very skills college professors want their students to possess.”
In partnership with the higher education community, the College Board developed AP
Capstone so students can practice skills that serve them well in college and career.
Colleges and universities have voiced their support for the program.