In the Community: Rochester City School District Media Advisory
School of the Arts (S.O.T.A.) is one of about 2,000 schools worldwide to implement the AP Capstone Diploma program – an innovative program that encourages students to develop skills for college and career success, including critical thinking, research, collaboration and communication.
The program consists of two yearlong courses taken in sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research.
S.O.T.A. will begin offering AP Seminar in the fall of 2022.
“The AP Capstone program will prepare our scholars to become skilled collaborators, critical thinkers, and consumers of information,” Dr. Lesli Myers-Small, Rochester City School District Superintendent said. “The Capstone courses will give students flexibility to explore the complex topics affecting their lives, and we are excited to see their research.”
Students who score a 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on 4 additional AP Exams of their choosing earn the diploma, which 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 4 additional AP Exams) earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.
“We are excited more schools are offering the AP Capstone Diploma program,” said Kedra Ishop, vice president for enrollment management at the University of Southern California. “We believe the research, collaboration, and presentation skills taught in the two courses will be valuable to students throughout their academic and professional careers.”
In AP Seminar, typically taken in 10th or 11th grade, students choose real-world topics and evaluate them from multiple perspectives and identify credibility and bias in sources and develop arguments in support of a recommendation.
In the AP Research course, students design and execute a college-level research project on a topic of personal interest. They receive first hand experience in writing a research question, executing an appropriate method, analyzing data, presenting their results, and defending their findings.
“The AP Capstone courses enable students to explore real-world issues in great depth through research and collaboration,” said Rushi Sheth, executive director of the AP Capstone Diploma program. He adds, “This provides terrific opportunities for students to write and present their work effectively, both individually and in teams—the very skills professors and employers are demanding.”
Partnering with the higher education community, College Board developed AP Capstone so students can practice and master skills that serve them well in college and careers.
S.O.T.A. students carry a full academic course load in addition to a rigorous Fine Arts sequence in one of six subject areas: Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Music (both Instrumental and Vocal), Theatre Technology and Visual Arts.
College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity, created to expand access to higher education.
For further information, visit collegeboard.org.