Mount de Sales Academy is the only independent school in the region approved to implement the new AP Capstone™ Diploma program. The innovative program allows students to develop the skills that matter most for college success, such as research, collaboration, and communication. Mount de Sales will start offering the program in fall 2021.
Created by the College Board in partnership with college educators, the program consists of two yearlong 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 (and not on four additional AP Exams) earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.
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. Each student’s AP Seminar score is based on a set of assessments including research reports, written arguments, timed essays and group and individual presentations completed throughout the academic year.
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 AP Research score is based on their academic paper, presentation, and oral defense.
“The opportunity to offer the AP Capstone program here at Mount de Sales is a perfect fit with our Diploma Endorsement program, which started in 2016,” said Dr. Mike Franklin, Upper School principal. “Both programs have similar goals for student learning, and now we will be able to accomplish those goals for students who choose to participate while validating the experience through the College Board’s national brand.”