AP Seminar and the AP Capstone Program

Jefferson High School has applied to offer driven students the opportunity to stand out among their peers with the AP Capstone program.  This new program is designed to prepare students for collegiate level academic success by emphasizing independent research, teamwork and collaboration, public speaking, critical thinking and reasoning skills.  
The program consists of two new, unique annual courses: AP Seminar and AP Research.  Together the courses represent a new paradigm in student learning and achievement at the high school level.    
The first course is called AP Seminar and is intended for 10th and 11th graders.  AP Seminar has students work in small groups to thoroughly investigate real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Students learn to synthesize information from different sources, develop their own lines of reasoning in research-based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. 
Students who earn credit for AP Seminar can be taken individually or as part of the AP Capstone™ program.  Students who successfully complete AP Seminar are encouraged to take AP Research the following year.  Students who successfully complete both courses earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.  

AP Capstone Diploma

Driven students who take additional AP courses and pass at least four additional AP Exams during their high school years earn the coveted AP Capstone Diploma™, recognized world-wide as the ultimate in readiness for academic success at the collegiate level.  Even colleges like MIT and Harvard, who traditionally eschew the AP program, embrace applicants who have earned the AP Capstone Diploma because it signifies attainment of college-level academic and research skills.


Q: Can seniors take AP Seminar?
A: Yes.  Seniors can take AP Seminar.  It should be noted however, that the second course - AP Research - is required to attain either the AP Capstone Diploma or Certificate.  It is recommended that AP Seminar be taken during the 10th or 11th grade year to provide sufficient opportunity to earn the AP Capstone Diploma or the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.
Q: I will be a senior next year and will not be able to take the second year course.  Should I take AP Seminar even though I won't be able to take AP Research the following year?
A: Yes.  Although the ultimate goal is to have students complete both courses, each course stands on its own.  The experience you will gain from AP Seminar is valuable regardless of whether or not you take AP Research.
Q: What credit do colleges award for AP Seminar?
A: The Honors College of West Virginia University recognizes successful completion of AP Seminar by awarding credit for HONR 297 - Independent Research. 
Q: How does the assessment work for AP Seminar and AP Research? Is there an AP Exam for both courses? 
A: AP Seminar and AP Research are both yearlong courses that employ assessments throughout the course. For AP Seminar, you’ll complete a team project and presentation and an individual research-based essay and presentation with an oral defense, as well as taking a written end-of-course exam. These components contribute to the overall AP Seminar score.
For AP Research, you’ll complete a 4,000- to 5,000-word academic paper and a presentation with an oral defense. There is no end-of-course exam. For details on assessment, go to the AP Seminar course page and the AP Research course page.
Q: Who should I contact if I still have questions?
A: Mr. Price has been working for about a year to bring the AP Capstone program to Jefferson High School.  He attended the national Research Teachers' Conference in Washington, D.C., met with the College Board's Director of Curriculum, collaborated with dozens of other Research teachers from West Virginia and beyond, and worked with teachers, counselors, and administrators to bring the program to our school.  Price has accumulated a vast library of information about the AP Capstone program, the AP Capstone Diploma, AP Seminar, and AP Research.  Please contact Mr. Price with any questions.

Additional Resources

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