AP Capstone Diploma Program
AP Capstone is a new diploma program that encourages students to push themselves in multiple areas and tie together concepts from each of these classes through research. In this program, students consider and evaluate multiple points of view to develop their own perspectives on complex issues and topics through inquiry and investigation. Where AP courses were lacking the inquiry and investigation aspects of learning, this program forces students to ask questions that spark their own curiosity. This leads to an investigation that challenges and expands the boundaries of one's current knowledge. According to College Board, the AP Capstone program is supported by top universities such as Harvard, NYU, MIT, Yale, Princeton, and many others.
The diploma has six parts: AP Seminar, AP Research, as well as four other AP courses of the student’s choice. Students typically take AP Seminar in grades 10 or 11 followed by AP Research. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing receive the AP Capstone Diploma. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research but not on four additional AP Exams receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.
Students enrolled in AP Seminar explore two to four relevant issues chosen by the student and/or teacher. For example, students might explore the question of whether national security is more important than a citizen’s right to privacy, or whether genetic engineering is a benefit to society. The grading for this class is based on three things: a team project, a presentation, and one end-of-course exam.
Once a student completes their AP Seminar coursework, they may enroll in AP Research. AP Research allows students to design, plan, and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of individual interest, documenting their process with a portfolio. This class is graded in two ways: an academic paper of 4,000 to 5,000 words and a presentation with an oral defense. Schools still enrolling that have the AP Capstone Program:
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