Shining a Spotlight on AP Capstone

Ever hear the words, “AP Capstone”? If yes, do you know what it is and what it means to be part of the program? If you haven’t heard of AP Capstone, take a few moments to read about it here in The Prowl.

AP Capstone is a two-year AP program that allows students the opportunity to earn a Capstone Diploma for successful completion of the two-year course and four other AP courses. AP Capstone helps students develop skills in research, analysis, evidence-based argument, collaboration, writing, and presenting.

Weston Ranch is the only school in MUSD that has the AP Capstone option. Capstone is student-centered, so it allows the teacher to be a facilitator rather than having the students rely on direct instruction.
Mrs. Baptista, who is in charge of the program, was asked by Brad Harrison, WR’s previous Assistant Principal, to apply to College Board to get the program here on our campus. Weston Ranch was the only school in the district that received permission to run the application that year.

AP Seminar is the first of the two required Capstone classes. It sets the foundation for student-led research and discussion. In the Seminar there are two performance tasks (one in a group and one individually) during the term that are filmed, scored, and sent to the College Board. Later, in May, Seminar students sit for a two hour AP Exam.

AP Research is the second course in the two-year program. This course guides students through college-level research. Students develop a question and then create a research project to study the issue they developed. Through this process, they work through writing a college-level paper. In the end, they present their findings from the study they conducted.

Mrs. Baptista and Ms. Beaty both concur and echo the same reply, “In our opinion, our students have absolutely enjoyed AP Capstone. It has given them skills that other high school seniors don’t have as they leave high school. These skills will definitely give students an advantage as they begin their college careers. We would say that all students should take AP Capstone. They will get the opportunity to have two amazing teachers and get beneficial skills for their future.”

Students can expect a fun learning environment while challenging themselves academically. See Ms. Baptista and Ms. Beaty for more information.