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American School of Dubai to Join AP Capstone Program

By Julia Martinez

The American School of Dubai (ASD) is one of more than 100 schools worldwide to implement AP Capstone, an innovative program that allows students to engage in the rigorous development of skills critical for success in college inquiry, research, collaboration, and writing.
The program includes a two-course sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research. Developed in response to feedback from higher education faculty and college admissions officers, AP Capstone complements the in-depth, subject-specific rigor of AP courses and exams. The first of the two AP Capstone courses, AP Seminar, will start in fall 2014.
Michelle Remington, ASD’s high school principal, comments, “This is an innovative and rigorous program designed to prepare a diverse student population for college and career success. This addition to our school curriculum also provides wonderful opportunities for interdisciplinary learning opportunities for our students.”
The AP Seminar course, typically taken in Grade 10 or 11, will equip students with the power to explore academic and real-world issues through an interdisciplinary lens and consider multiple points of view.
Through a variety of materials from articles and research studies to foundational and philosophical texts, students will be challenged to explore complex questions, understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints, interpret and synthesize information, and develop, communicate, and defend their own points of view.
Teachers have the flexibility of choosing themes based on student interests, whether they are local and/or civic issues or international topics. Samples of themes that can be covered in the AP Seminar course include education, innovation, sustainability, and technology. Students are assessed through an individual and team project completed during the year and a year-end written exam.
The subsequent AP Research course will allow students to design, plan, and conduct a yearlong mentored investigation on a topic of their choosing. Students will build on the skills learned in the AP Seminar course by using research methodology, employing ethical research practices, and accessing, analyzing, and synthesizing information to present and defend an argument.
Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on the AP Seminar and AP Research Exams and scores of 3 or higher on four AP Exams of their choosing will receive an AP Capstone Diploma. Students who earn qualifying scores on the two AP Capstone exams but do not take or earn qualifying scores on four additional AP Exams will earn an AP Seminar and Research Certificate.
AP Capstone was developed to prepare more students for the rigors of college and for success in future careers. It will help students distinguish themselves during the college application process by demonstrating their commitment to challenging coursework and by allowing them to showcase their in-depth understanding, interest, and passion for specific issues.
“AP Capstone provides more of the learning students will need for success in college and beyond: effective communication, original research, collaboration, and critical thinking,” said Ken O’Donnell, Senior Director for Student Engagement and Academic Initiatives and Partnerships in the Office of the Chancellor at California State University.
“We want them to come in ready to analyze issues from multiple perspectives, integrating disparate ideas and comfortable with innovation, so they can make real contributions when they get here.”
AP Capstone will expand upon the College Board’s efforts to offer rigorous college-level course work to more low-income students. The schools invited to participate in the inaugural year of AP Capstone represent the diversity of our nation’s classrooms.
“We are extremely proud to offer AP Capstone to over 100 schools in fall 2014,” said Trevor Packer, Senior Vice President for AP and Instruction at the College Board. “This program, created as a complement to the in-depth subject-matter study of the AP Program, will provide students with the research, writing, and collaboration skills that are essential to meet the rigors of postsecondary education and beyond.”
The American School of Dubai (ASD) is a college-preparatory, Pre-K through Grade 12, independent not-for-profit American community school. Founded in 1966, ASD currently enrolls over 1,600 students, represented by over 60 nationalities.

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