AP Capstone™ is a diploma program based on two yearlong AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. These courses are designed to complement other AP courses that the AP Capstone student may take.
Instead of teaching specific subject knowledge, AP Seminar and AP Research use an interdisciplinary approach to develop the critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management, and presentation skills students need for college-level work.
Students at SFHS take AP Seminar in grade 11, followed by AP Research in grade 12. Each course is yearlong, and AP Seminar is a prerequisite for AP Research. Additionally, AP English Language is a corequisite for AP Seminar.
In both courses, students investigate a variety of topics in multiple disciplines driven by their interests.
Both courses guide students through completing a research project, writing an academic paper, and making a presentation on their project.
Over the course of the two-year program, students are required to:
- Analyze topics through multiple lenses to construct meaning or gain understanding.
- Plan and conduct a study or investigation.
- Propose solutions to real-world problems.
- Plan and produce communication in various forms.
- Collaborate to solve a problem.
- Integrate, synthesize, and make cross-curricular connections.
In AP Seminar, students are assessed with two through-course performance tasks and an end-of-course exam. All three assessments are summative and will be used to calculate a final AP score (using the 1 to 5 scale) for AP Seminar.
In AP Research, students are assessed on the academic paper and presentation and oral defense of research. The academic paper is 4,000 to 5,000 words, and the presentation and defense take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
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™.