In September 2018, determined Central Valley Academy students will take a first step toward earning an Advance Placement (AP) Capstone Diploma. The program develops critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management, and presentation skills needed for college-level work.
“This is a great opportunity for our high achieving students,” said CVA Principal Dick Keeler.
He credits veteran teacher Jim Mott with pursuing the district’s accreditation and gaining the necessary training to teach the courses. Central Valley is one of just 1,500 schools in the world and the only area school to offer the elite program.
Mott is excited by the opportunity.
“As I approach the end of my teaching career here at CVA, the AP Capstone Project is the academic legacy I hope to leave,” he said.
“Not only will it prepare students to be college ready, it offers them opportunities to collaborate in and out of our school district. It is definitely something that takes us all out of our comfort zones, which is exactly what I need as a teacher and what the students need for their studies and lives.”
What is AP Capstone?
The program is based on two yearlong AP courses—AP Seminar and AP Research.
Students learn to consider an issue from multiple perspectives, identify credible sources, evaluate strengths and weaknesses of arguments, and make logical, evidence-based recommendations. They investigate a variety of topics through various viewpoints of their choosing. The course includes a team project and an individual paper and presentation, as well as a written end-of-course exam. These components contribute to the overall AP Seminar score. AP Seminar is a prerequisite for AP Research.
Students explore various research methods and complete an independent research project. Students can build on a topic, problem, or issue they covered in AP Seminar or on a new topic of their own choosing. At the end of the project, they submit the academic paper and present and defend their research findings. These components contribute to the overall AP Research score. There is no end-of-course exam.
Students earning 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 earning scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.
For more information, please speak with your or your student’s guidance counselor.