Jesuit High School has been selected to implement AP Capstone, an innovative program offered by fewer than 2% of high schools nationwide that allows students to develop the research, collaboration, and communication skills vital to future success, and to earn an AP Capstone Diploma.
Developed as a response from higher education faculty and college admissions officers, AP Capstone complements the in-depth, subject-specific rigor of AP courses and exams. The addition of AP Capstone continues Jesuit’s progressive development in Advanced Placement, as Jesuit offers more AP courses, has more AP students, and is achieving a higher pass rate on AP exams than ever before.
This school year (2015-16), Jesuit raised its AP course total from 16 to 20 with the addition of AP classes in Latin, Psychology, Physics 2, and Calculus BC. From 2008-09 to 2014-15, Jesuit increased its AP test pass rate (a score of 3 or better) from 56% to 77%, while expanding its course offerings from 9 to 16, increasing its students enrolled in AP from 125 to 333, and nearly tripling the number of AP exams taken, from 223 to 635.
The AP Capstone program, which will be implemented this fall at Jesuit, consists of a two-course sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research. Students who complete AP Seminar and AP Research with scores of 3 or higher, and receive scores of 3 or higher on four AP Exams in subjects of their choosing, receive the AP Capstone Diploma.
The AP Seminar course, taken in 11th grade, equips students with the power to explore academic and real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Through a variety of materials – from articles and research studies to foundational and philosophical texts – students are challenged to explore complex questions; understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints; interpret and synthesize information; and develop, communicate, and defend evidence-based arguments. Students are assessed in AP Seminar through both an individual project and a team project completed during the year, and a year-end written exam.
The subsequent AP Research course, taken in 12th grade, allows students to design, plan, and conduct a year-long investigation on a topic of their choosing with support from experts at the university level or in the community. Students 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 an argument. At the end of the course students have the confidence to present and orally defend their own scholarly academic research.
AP Capstone, which will be offered by some 600 schools worldwide next year, fosters important skills that colleges seek in prospective students. The program will prepare more students for the rigors of college and for success in their careers. Click here for more information about AP Capstone.
Advanced Placement courses are established by the College Board, and passing the year-end AP test in a respective course commonly results in receiving college credit. Thus the advancement of Jesuit's AP program has been a tremendous benefit to Jesuit graduates transitioning to college.
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