Feb 16 Tampa Catholic High School is one of approximately 1,000 schools worldwide to implement AP Capstone™—an innovative diploma program that allows students to develop the skills that matter most for college success: research, collaboration, and communication. The program consists of two courses taken in sequence: AP® Seminar and AP Research. Developed in direct response to feedback from higher education faculty and college admission officers, AP Capstone complements the in-depth, subject-specific study of other Advanced Placement® courses and exams offered by the school. Additionally, College Board's AP Capstone program is currently offered in only 12 other Hillsborough County schools. Our program will augment Tampa Catholic's current AP course offerings by providing student generated research opportunities designed to bridge with their intended college coursework, majors, and internships. Additionally, students that may not have other access to other AP courses can take this opportunity to master the argument-based and college-level writing skills that the AP Capstone program develops. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on AP Seminar and AP Research assessments and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing will earn the AP Capstone Diploma™. This signifies their outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on both AP Seminar and AP Research assessments only (but not on four additional AP Exams) will earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™. Principal Robert C. Lees commented, "Tampa Catholic is pleased to add AP Capstone to our rigorous academic program. We are always seeking ways to enhance our offerings to ensure that our students continue to be prepared for the most competitive collegiate environments. Our commitment to academic excellence made this an obvious addition and we are pleased to begin offering AP Capstone in the fall of 2017." The AP Seminar course, typically taken in 10th or 11th grade, equips students with the ability to look at real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Through a variety of materials—articles to research studies to foundational and philosophical texts — students tackle complex questions; understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints; interpret and synthesize information; and construct, communicate, and defend evidence-based arguments. Education, innovation, sustainability, and technology are examples of themes or topics covered in AP Seminar. However, teachers have the flexibility to choose subject content based on student interests, whether local, regional, national, or global. By tapping into students’ personal interests, AP Capstone gives students from a wide range of backgrounds an entry point into stimulating coursework more than ever before. Students are assessed through: a team project and presentation, an individual project and presentation, and an end-of-course written exam. In the subsequent AP Research course, students design, plan, and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of individual interest, documenting their process with a portfolio. Students build on skills developed in the AP Seminar course by learning how to understand research methodology; employ ethical research practices; and collect, analyze, and synthesize information to build, present, and defend an argument. “We are proud to offer AP Capstone, which enables students and teachers to focus on topics of their choice in great depth,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president for AP and instruction at the College Board. He adds, “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.” By responding to and partnering with the higher education community, the College Board developed AP Capstone so students can practice skills that will serve them well in college and career. Because the program is a result of feedback from education professionals, it is not surprising that several colleges and universities have confirmed their support of for the program. “AP Capstone is a unique program that teaches skills we think are very valuable not only for college but life,” said John Barnhill, assistant vice president for enrollment management at Florida State University. “The ability to analyze, to critically think, 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.” About the Advanced Placement Program The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies—with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both—while still in high school. Through AP courses in 34 subjects, each culminating in a rigorous exam, students learn to think critically, construct solid arguments, and see many sides of an issue—skills that prepare them for college and beyond. Taking AP courses demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them, and research indicates that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than non-AP students. Each AP teacher’s syllabus is evaluated and approved by faculty from some of the nation’s leading colleges and universities, and AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. Tampa Catholic students may earn up to 21 college credits through AP and dual enrollment courses. TC offers more than 17 AP course with students in 2016 taking 405 AP exams. About Tampa Catholic High School is located in central Tampa and derives its 762 students from all areas of Hillsborough and surrounding counties. TC is the only co-educational Catholic diocesan high school in Hillsborough County and serves a wide diversity of students, both Catholic and non-Catholic. The school offers Honors, College Prep, and General educational programs of study. TC students consistently score above state and national averages on SAT and ACT tests with 100% of graduates continuing on to a college or university. For more information about Tampa Catholic High School and its programs please visit the school’s Web site at www.tampacatholic.org.