Diploma Program Focuses on College-Level Research, Collaboration, and Presentation Skills Crucial for College and Career Success
Riverside High, Woodmont High, and Wade Hampton High School are among approximately 1,800 schools worldwide to implement the AP Capstone Diploma program - an innovative program 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. Wade Hampton and Woodmont will start offering AP Seminar in the fall of 2020.
Students who score a 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and 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™.
Riverside High School Principal Darah Huffman said, "This innovative program gets a broader, more diverse student population ready for college and beyond. The program gives our teachers more leeway with curriculum choices, so their students can access more challenging coursework and sharpen their reading and writing skills.” “We received notification of our Capstone status in December and are excited to add this to our selection of advanced studies,” said principal Joe Foster. “In combination with our IB Diploma program, Woodmont students have multiple rigorous pathways to ensure that upon graduation they are prepared for a successful college career.”
“We are extremely excited about the addition of the AP Capstone program at Wade Hampton High,” said Principal Dr. Carlos Grant. “Our team is focused on being very intentional with providing an excellent college-preparatory education that will well situate students to have success in whatever life path they choose. Within two years, students will have a deeper appreciation of their passion and interests that will lead to them to design, conduct, present, and defend a research-based investigation based on their discovery. This commitment further helps us bring high quality, excellent education through inspiring minds, engaging hearts, and growing better together.”
In AP Seminar, typically taken in 10th or 11th grade, 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. Students complete the course by taking an end-of-course written exam in May.
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. There’s no end-of-course exam for AP Research.
“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 and master skills that serve them well in college and career. Colleges and universities have voiced their support for the program.
The College Board Advanced Placement® Program (AP®) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies—with the opportunity to earn college credit, placement, or both—while still in high school. Through AP courses in 38 subjects, each culminating in a rigorous exam, students learn to think critically, construct solid arguments, and see many sides of an issue—skills that prepare them for college and beyond.
About College Board
College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success—including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement® Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators, and schools. For further information, visit collegeboard.org.