AP* Capstone Professional Development

What is the AP Capstone™ program?     REGISTER NOW!

AP Capstone™ is a College Board program that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges. AP Capstone comprises two AP courses – AP Seminar and AP Research – and is designed to complement and enhance the discipline-specific study in other AP courses.

Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing receive the AP Capstone Diploma™. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research but not on four additional AP Exams receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.

The AP Seminar and AP Research home pages have detailed information on all aspects of the program.

What is AP Seminar, and what is AP Research?

AP Seminar is a yearlong course that has students investigate real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Students learn to synthesize information from different sources, develop their own perspectives in research-based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team.

AP Research lets students deeply explore an academic topic, problem, or issue of interest to them. Students design, plan, and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation to address a research question, documenting their process with a portfolio. The course ends with a 4,000- to 5,000-word academic paper and a presentation with an oral defense.

Are there any student prerequisites for AP Seminar or AP Research?

For AP Research students must have successfully completed the AP Seminar course. There are no prerequisite courses for AP Seminar.

Are there any teacher requirements for the AP Capstone program?

Professional development is required for each course. The summer before the first year of teaching the course, you must complete a five-day workshop. During the winter of the first year of teaching the course, you must complete around 10 hours of additional online training. Training is specific to each course and must be completed for both AP Research and AP Seminar. For more information go to the AP Capstone professional development page.

What resources are available to help me teach these courses?

·         The AP Seminar Course and Exam Description (.pdf/9.73MB) and AP Research Course and Exam Description (.pdf/2.16MB) are the core documents for you to download. They clearly lay out the course and assessment content, and describe AP Capstone and the AP Program in general.

·         The AP Research and AP Seminar Teacher Communities give you the opportunity to learn from colleagues and create a library of resources.

·         The Implementation Guide gives information and models on how to implement the AP Capstone program for a variety of schedules and settings.

How are AP Seminar students assessed?

AP Seminar students are assessed with two through-course performance tasks and one end-of-course exam. The performance tasks consist of a team project and presentation, and an individual research-based essay and presentation. All three assessments are summative and are used to calculate a final AP score of 1 to 5. The two through-course performance tasks for AP Seminar are teacher-scored. The end-of-course exam is in May; it takes two hours and consists of three short-answer questions and one essay question.

How are AP Research students assessed?

The AP Research course culminates in an academic paper of 4,000 to 5,000 words and a presentation with an oral defense. The two components of the through-course performance task are teacher-scored, and the academic paper is validated by the College Board after being scored. For the oral defense panel AP Research teachers should choose two additional, adult panel members – expert advisers or discipline-specific experts. Both components are included in the calculation of a final AP score (using the 1-5 scale).

What are professional learning objectives for Summer Professional Development?

The AP Capstone professional development summer workshop trains instructors to teach college-level thinking and research skills while exploring academic and real-world questions, problems, and issues from different disciplines and from multiple perspectives. Special focus is given to facilitating student learning in collaborative settings, while motivating students to think critically and innovatively about research questions.

The summer workshop will include these features:

·         Outline of course goals, objectives, content, and resources

·         Examination of the curriculum framework of the program

·         Overview of teaching strategies and best practices

·         Creation of course calendar, class activities, lesson plans, and formative assessments

·         Development of course syllabi for the AP Course Audit

·         Walk-through of through-course and end-of-course assessments

·         Demonstration of AP Capstone Digital Portfolio