Announcing the new AP Capstone Diploma Program at ASK

2 Mar

ASK, One of More than 100 Schools to Participate in the College Board’s AP Capstone™ Program

New Program Will Focus on Inquiry, Research, and Writing Skills Crucial for College and Career Success

ASK is one of more than 100 schools worldwide to implement AP Capstone™ ─ an innovative program that allows students to engage in the rigorous development of skills critical for success in college inquiry, research, collaboration, and writing. The program includes a two-course sequence: AP® Seminar and AP Research. Developed in response to feedback from higher education faculty and college admission officers, AP Capstone complements the in-depth, subject-specific rigor of AP courses and exams. The first of the two AP Capstone courses, AP Seminar, will start in fall 2014.

 “This innovative program not only prepares a broader, more diverse student population for college and career success, but also provides our teachers with flexibility in the curriculum to expand access to rigorous course work.”

 The AP Seminar course, typically taken in 10th or 11th grade, will equip students with the power to explore academic and real-world issues through an interdisciplinary lens and consider multiple points of view. Through a variety of materials ─ from articles and research studies to foundational and philosophical texts ─ students will be challenged to explore complex questions, understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints, interpret and synthesize information, and develop, communicate, and defend their own points of view. Teachers have the flexibility of choosing themes based on student interests, whether they are local and/or civic issues or international topics. Samples of themes that can be covered in the AP Seminar course include education, innovation, sustainability, and technology. Students are assessed through an individual and team project completed during the year and a year-end written exam.

The subsequent AP Research course, will allow students to design, plan, and conduct a yearlong mentored investigation on a topic of their choosing. Students will build on the skills learned in the AP Seminar course by using research methodology, employing ethical research practices, and accessing, analyzing, and synthesizing information to present and defend an argument.

Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on the AP Seminar and AP Research Exams and scores of 3 or higher on four AP Exams of their choosing will receive the AP Capstone Diploma™. Students who earn qualifying scores on the two AP Capstone exams but do not take or earn qualifying scores on four additional AP Exams will earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.

AP Capstone was developed to prepare more students for the rigors of college and for success in future careers. It will help students distinguish themselves during the college application process by demonstrating their commitment to challenging coursework and by allowing them to showcase their in-depth understanding, interest and passion for specific issues.

“AP Capstone provides more of the learning students will need for success in college and beyond:  effective communication, original research, collaboration, and critical thinking,” said Ken O’Donnell, senior director for Student Engagement and Academic Initiatives and Partnerships in the Office of the Chancellor at California State University. “We want them to come in ready to analyze issues from multiple perspectives, integrating disparate ideas and comfortable with innovation, so they can make real contributions when they get here.”

AP Capstone will expand upon the College Board’s efforts to offer rigorous college-level course work to more low-income students. The schools invited to participate in the inaugural year of AP Capstone represent the diversity of our nation’s classrooms.

“We are extremely proud to offer AP Capstone to over 100 schools in fall 2014,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president for AP and Instruction at the College Board. “This program, created as a complement to the in-depth subject-matter study of the AP Program, will provide students with the research, writing, and collaboration skills that are essential to meet the rigors of postsecondary education and beyond.”


About the Advanced Placement Program®

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies — with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both — while still in high school. Through AP courses in 34 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. Taking AP courses demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them, and research indicates that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than non-AP students. Each AP teacher’s syllabus is evaluated and approved by faculty from some of the nation’s leading colleges and universities, and AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. Most four-year colleges and universities in the United States grant credit, advanced placement, or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores — more than 3,300 institutions worldwide annually receive AP scores. In the last decade, participation in the AP Program has more than doubled and graduates succeeding on AP Exams have nearly doubled. In May 2013, 2.2 million students representing 18,920 schools around the world, both public and nonpublic, took approximately four million AP Exams.


About the College Board

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the 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, the 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



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