Capstone program coming to Garfield District 16’s GVHS |

Capstone program coming to Garfield District 16’s GVHS

Grand Valley High School will join approximately 1,500 schools worldwide this fall as it participates in the Advanced Placement Capstone Diploma Program.

The program allows students to develop research, collaboration and communication skills while investigating a topic of their choice, thereby giving students access to more challenging coursework specifically targeting their career path. The program complements the in-depth, subject study of other AP courses.

Grand Valley High School Principal Ryan Frink said the program will provide students an opportunity to move toward more personalized learning and allows students to take complete ownership of their learning.

The program consists of two courses to be taken in sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research. AP Seminar, typically taken in 10th or 11th grade, allows students the chance to research and investigate real-world issues of their choosing, according to the press release from Grand Valley High School.

In this course, students will tackle complex questions and defend evidence-based arguments through a variety of materials, such as articles from research studies or philosophical texts.

Teachers have flexibility to cover topics their students care most about and students are assessed through a team project and presentation, an individual project and presentation, and an end-of-course written exam, the press release states.

Frink said the program gives students a choice and voice in what they want to study and research. The program will further help the district move forward to personalize education for every child.

In AP Research, students design, plan and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of their choice. Students will learn how to research methodology, collect analyze and synthesize information to build, present and defend an argument, states the press release.

GVHS Principal Ryan Frink said students will create a portfolio of their work. By picking a topic of their choice, students learn strategies and techniques to better research what they are most passionate about.

Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing will earn the AP Capstone Diploma.

The diploma signifies outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college level academic and research skills.

Students who earn scores of 3 or greater on both AP Seminars and AP Research assessments only will still earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

“We’re proud to offer AP Capstone, which enables students and teachers to focus on topics of their choice in great depth,” Senior Vice President for AP and Instruction at the College Board Trevor Packer said in the press release. “This provides terrific opportunities for students to develop the ability to write and present their work effectively, individually and in groups — the very skills college professors want their students to possess.”

In partnership with the higher education community, the College Board developed AP Capstone so students can practice skills that will serve them well in college and in their career. Colleges and universities have voiced their support of the program.

“AP Capstone is a unique program that teaches skills we think are very valuable not only for college but life,” Florida State University Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management John Barnhill said in the press release. “The ability to analyze, to critically think and to present information is really wonderful, and I think both courses do a great job of preparing the student for the rest of their lives.”

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