For the first time, students at Cass Tech will receive AP Capstone diplomas. Currently, there are 19 seniors enrolled in the program at Cass. These students will find out this summer whether they have successfully completed the program.
AP Capstone is a diploma program that is a part of College Board. The program is based on two AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. According to the College Board’s website, AP Capstone is different from other advanced courses because the program develops students’ skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing, and presenting.
Students who complete the two-year program can earn one of two different AP Capstone awards. According to the College Board’s website, the benefits of an AP Capstone diploma are that it “can help students stand out to colleges, become independent thinkers, develop key academic skills, and more.”
Shar Willis Gregory, the teacher in charge of the AP Capstone program at Cass Tech, said that the AP Capstone program was created to expose students to in-depth research.
Willis said that the students must take the AP Seminar course in 10th grade and AP Research course in 12th grade. In addition to completing these two courses, students need to earn a qualifying score on both courses and on three additional AP courses. The qualifying score is 3 or above.
Interested students must have a teacher's recommendation and they also must write an essay explaining their interest in joining the program.
“Now, what kids do when they want to take AP capstone courses is let their teachers know that they're interested, and they must fill out a survey,” Willis Gregory said. “The kids fill out the survey and they also must be recommended by their teachers.”
Willis Gregory said being an AP Capstone student gives students “the tools they need to investigate credibility, who should I listen to, and who should I not listen to.”
Willis Gregory added: “This research-based program prepares those of you who are going into higher education to do what higher education requires.”
Maiya Pickett is part of the first class of the AP Capstone Program at Cass Tech.
“Being in AP Capstone has provided me a unique experience to help develop my writing skills, such as crafting an argument, building a line of reasoning … being persuasive,” Pickett said. “It's also helped me learn more about the world.”
Maiya has applied to seven universities and was accepted to all of them. She will be majoring in fine arts at the University of Michigan in the fall.