Tuesday, November 13, 2018

District Celebrates AP Capstone Diploma and AP Seminar and Research Certificate Recipients

More than 1,100 schools participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program, valued by colleges and universities across the U.S. and around the world

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (November 13, 2018) – Pasco County Schools is pleased to announce that 20 students earned the Advanced Placement® (AP®) Capstone Diploma and 10 students earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™ in the 2017-2018 school year.

AP Capstone™ is a diploma program from the College Board based on two yearlong AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. Both courses prepare students for college and career success through the development of critical thinking, academic research, collaboration, presentation, and time management skills.

“We are proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of students who participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program, and we continue to look forward to providing students with opportunities to explore their passions while building college-level academic and collaboration skills,” said Vanessa Hilton, assistant superintendent for student achievement.

The AP Capstone program provides student-centered learning while incorporating performance-based assessments. Throughout the program, AP Seminar and AP Research students study a variety of topics across multiple disciplines and have the flexibility to choose topics of personal interest to show mastery of critical thinking, research, and presentation skills. Official AP Seminar and AP Research assessments also go beyond a single AP Exam to include academic papers, multimedia presentations, and defense of findings.

To receive the AP Capstone Diploma™, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on four additional AP Exams. To receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research. Over 1,100 schools participated in the AP Capstone program worldwide during the 2017-18 school year, and approximately 4,800 students earned the AP Capstone Diploma and 2,400 earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

“Capstone is a blank canvas. I loved that I could conduct research on practically anything I wanted in the world,” said an AP Capstone graduate.

Pasco County Schools offers AP Capstone at J.W. Mitchell, River Ridge, Sunlake, and Wesley Chapel high schools. More than 4,500 students are currently enrolled in at least one AP course and 198 of those students are taking either AP Seminar or AP Research. Students in the AP Capstone Program focused their research on a range of topics, including evolution of antibiotics through protein mutations, aerospace soft robotics as a solution to issues with efficiency and longevity, and the misdiagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and the connection to depression.

“Congratulations to the AP Capstone award winners, who conduct, present, and defend academic research on topics they are passionate about,” said Trevor Packer, College Board senior vice president of AP and Instruction. “Their ability to manage long-term projects, collaborate with teams, and deliver effective presentations will accelerate not only their academic careers, but their professional careers as well.”

Of the Pasco County Schools students who participated in the AP Capstone Diploma Program:

· 20 were awarded the AP Capstone diploma by earning scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on four additional AP Exams.

· 10 were awarded the AP Seminar and Research Certificate by earning scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research.

· 26 were graduating seniors in the class of 2018.

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program gives students the opportunity to take challenging college-level courses while still in high school. A 3 or higher on an AP Exam has multiple benefits for students, including earning college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on AP Exams, saving them time and money. Research shows AP students are better prepared for and more likely to enroll and remain in college, do well in classes, and earn their degrees on time. Each exam is developed by a committee of college and university faculty and AP teachers, ensuring that AP Exams align their high standards.