AP Seminar to be offered in fall

DUDLEY — Shepherd Hill Regional High School is one of 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.

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.

Shepherd Hill will start offering AP Seminar in the fall of 2020.

Shepherd Hill Principal William F. Chaplin, Jr., stated, “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.”

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.

“We’re excited more schools are offering the AP Capstone Diploma program,” said Kedra Ishop, vice provost for enrollment management at the University of Michigan. “We believe the research, collaboration, and presentation skills taught in the two courses will be valuable to students throughout their academic and professional careers.”

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