Amarillo ISD high school students can take advantage of a new diploma opportunity beginning this school year. The AP Capstone Diploma will be offered at all four AISD high schools and Amarillo ISD is the only school district in the Panhandle to offer the diploma.
AP Capstone is an elevated high school diploma based on two AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. The AP seminar course teaches students how to conduct research at a college level. In the research course, students choose an issue to focus their research throughout the school year.
“AP Capstone is a chance for students to direct their own learning and do research into something they care about and how to solve that problem,” said Tascosa High School AP seminar teacher Ryan Lovell. “They learn how to research and how to answer interesting questions from different points of view.”
Students who successfully complete the AP seminar and research courses and earn scores of three or higher on the accompanying AP exams, along with earning scores of three or higher on four other AP exams, will receive the AP Capstone Diploma when they graduate. For students who choose to just take the AP seminar and AP research courses and score three or higher on those AP exams, an AP Capstone designation will be added to their high school diploma.
Lovell said the AP Capstone program should appeal to a wide variety of students. “Any student with any sort of curiosity who wants to delve into questions that are important to them, and who is interested in doing academic research on a college level is a great fit for AP Capstone,” he said.
The seminar course will be offered to AISD juniors during the 2019-2020 school year, with the research course offered for then 2020-2021 school year. In addition to developing a student’s ability to navigate the problem-based learning approach used in college, a number of colleges and universities offer credit or placement opportunities for students who have completed the AP seminar or research courses.
-Amarillo Independent School District